1) he can do to help. The narrator

 

1)    My early impression of the short story, Sonny’s
Blues, by James Baldwin, was that the narrator has no close connection from his
brother Sonny. This is because the narrator learns of
Sonny’s troubles from a newspaper which signifies the two have drifted apart
and did not keep in touch. The narrator also appears to be more pragmatic. He is
employed as a teacher and has a family. Sonny, on the other hand, is wild and
has gotten into trouble and is an addict. The narrator does not approve of
Sonny or the route his life has taken.

2)    The
attitude of the narrator towards Sonny is that of hopelessness yet he still
loves him. At first, he cannot believe that Sonny is an addict because he
always thought of him to be a good boy despite being a bit rash. The narrator
loathes that his brother has turned to drugs and even believes that there is
nothing he can do to help. The narrator suggests when conversing with Sonny’s
childhood friend, that Sonny is beyond salvage and that the drug trouble Sonny
is going through has nothing to do with him. The narrator is so compelled he
cannot help his brother to the extent he avoids writing to Sonny until his daughters
died. But the narrator’s attitude changes when he receives Sonny’s replying
letter that describes how sorry and regretful Sonny was feeling for causing the
narrator, and other family members, too much pain. After this, the narrator
begins to write to Sonny frequently. The change in the narrator’s attitude
results in the storyteller picking Sonny up when he is set free and invites him
to stay with him. The narrator seems to sympathize with Sonny. He also feels
some regret and responsible for Sonny’s troubles because he thinks maybe he
should have been there to look after Sonny as their mother had directed him.
Also, he learns to appreciate Sonny choice to pursue music. This is after
seeing how absorbed Sonny was to his instrument and his lyrics when performing
at the bar. At first, the narrator has low regards for music. He is out of
touch with it that he does not understand the different types of music a
musician can play. He does not even know one of the greatest musicians of their
time. His attitude changes after going to the bar where Sonny plays. He
appreciates the beauty of the slow tune that Sonny sings and that it is not a lament.  The music reminded her of her mother, the
pain she might have gone through looking after them, his suffering and that of
his wife when they lost their daughter, and he even visualizes what it
should have been when their uncle died in the road accident. However, those
pains are washed away quickly by the tune.

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3)    The
three most essential encounters are the one with his mother, Creole, and off
course Sonny. His mother’s encounter left him feeling responsible for Sonny and
later in the story it makes him wish he was there for Sonny as older brothers
should. This encounter pushes him to put up Sonny with Isabel’s family while he
is away with the army. It also re-enforces his sense of loving people close to
him. The story about his uncle’s demise helps him understand his father’s
demeanor. Creole’s encounter helps him appreciate that music could be the only
path of salvation for Sonny after all. He views Creole as a father figure who
is significantly influencing and encouraging Sonny to revolutionize his music. He also sees Creole’s group as another
family that Sonny now has that is helping him get over his problems. The most
critical encounter that the narrator has with Sonny is through the first letter
from Sonny. That makes him regret his decision to not communicate often
with his brother. It also helps him understand Sonny’s problems. Through it, he
starts interacting with Sonny. Once that channel is opened, the two brothers
reconcile, and the narrator ends up accommodating Sonny. From there, Sonny seems
to reconsider his life and ends up meeting Creole and a revolution of his music
that earns the narrator’s respect. The mother and Sonny’s encounters help me
realize the importance of having a family and how essential it is to maintain
cordial relationships with family. This is because close, loving relationships
offer support and could help salvage someone’s life during the times of intense
suffering. The encounter with Creole helps me appreciate the need for meeting
new friends who are positive, share some passions as me, and this could lead to
a new beginning.

4)    The
way I see myself fitting in this story is through the encounter of Sonny and
the narrator at the living room when Isabel is away with the kids. This event
reminds me of the difficulties I have opening up to people that are close to me
about my troubles.

 

5)    Sonny’s
new life in music is one full of optimism. This is because his last performance
not only draws applauds but also earns him respect from a brother who has always
been so skeptical about music as a career. Sonny is also happy with Creole
group. Creole also appears as a reasonable man, and a good mentor and through
him Sonny might stay in line and finally succeed in his endeavor towards
pioneering the blues genre.

 

 

6)    The
narrator’s guiding principles are discipline, family values, and the pursuit of
education. He thinks that Sonny is in trouble because he has been careless and
wild. When Sonny tells him, he wants to be a musician, he carefully questions him
in a manner that appears to warn Sonny not to rush it a decision that would not
be beneficial. His family values are evident by how highly he respects and
shower praise to his wife. The narrator is also there for Sonny when he is set
free despite his anger concerning Sonny’s loss of control. When he accompanies
Sonny to the bar, this shows he loves his brother. He is also a believer in the
value of education. This is clear from the frustration he expresses when Sonny
drops out of school which leads him to cut communication with him. On the other
hand, the mother represents deep religious values. She is an advocate of
compassion, forgiveness, and love for even people that killed her husband’s
brother. She also believes in the close family relationship where each member
looks after one another. As for Sonny, his driving force is passion and
perseverance. Though all music has done for him is lead him into a path of
self-destruction, his love for it keeps him going. He does not give up until
the end where there is some hope his career will turn for the best.

7)    The
narrator and Sonny both learn a few things through the narrative. The narrator
learns sympathy not only toward Sonny but also Sonny’s childhood friend at the
beginning of the story. He also learns to appreciate music, and when he sees
Sonny’s expression when performing at the end of the story, he understands that
music extraordinarily affected Sonny. At that point, he respects Sonny’s
insistence on pursuing music and sends him a drink to show it. On the other
hand, Sonny understands that his behavior affects those around him too. He,
therefore, expresses remorse and he is trying to lead a better life.
Additionally, Sonny realizes that the courage drugs seem to give their users is
fake and criticizes himself and other musicians who take drugs before
performing. 

8)    A
personal experience that resonates with me is I always look after my younger
siblings and take responsibilities. I will always be there for them no matter
what they are going through. I push them to do the right things at all times.

9)    The
story presents several moral values. First, there is the personal value of
responsibility. It is expressed by the narrator sense of duty towards taking
care of his brother after their mother dies which he fulfills by arranging for
his accommodation with the Isabel family. Second, there is the moral value of
perseverance shown by Sonny’s never give up attitude in his pursuit of music.
Third, the narrator reveals generosity when he accommodates Sonny. Forth, there
is the value of honesty. This is expressed when Sonny tells his brother that he
cannot honestly know whether he will resort to taking heroin or not. Respect
too is evident in the narrative. When the narrator sends a drink to Sonny, it
shows great respect for Sonny’s abilities. Lastly, there is compassion. This is
expressed by the mother when she tells the narrator that she has long
understood the pain their father has always been through after the death of the
narrator’s uncle. The other incidence of compassion is indicated by the
narrator and his family overall reception and reaction towards Sonny when he
starts living with them.

 

10) The
narrator foreshadows the revolution of Sonny’s music when he narrates hearing
about a tune one of the boys at the school was whistling. He describes the tune
as cool and moving despite the harshness in the boy’s surroundings. Such a
scene occurs when Sonny plays at the bar. The music was cool, slow and touched
the narrator. Though it took him back to a chaotic period of his life, it does
so momentarily and in a manner, that does not mournful but rather beautiful. The
author also foreshadowed his change of attitude towards his brother when he
encountered Sonny’s friend who he used to hate, but by the time they were
parting ways, his feeling had turned to sympathies. In fact, after the first
letter from Sonny, the narrator appears to understand why Sonny has turned out
the way he did.

 

11)                 
The concluding statement of the
narrator “it the drink
glowed and shook above my brother’s head like the very cup of trembling”
(Baldwin 99), symbolizes that Sonny’s was at a precarious juncture in his life.
While the glowing signifies optimism and hope for brighter, the trembling cup
expresses that there could be some uncertainties before Sonny put all
tribulations he has been through behind him. 

 

1)    My early impression of the short story, Sonny’s
Blues, by James Baldwin, was that the narrator has no close connection from his
brother Sonny. This is because the narrator learns of
Sonny’s troubles from a newspaper which signifies the two have drifted apart
and did not keep in touch. The narrator also appears to be more pragmatic. He is
employed as a teacher and has a family. Sonny, on the other hand, is wild and
has gotten into trouble and is an addict. The narrator does not approve of
Sonny or the route his life has taken.

2)    The
attitude of the narrator towards Sonny is that of hopelessness yet he still
loves him. At first, he cannot believe that Sonny is an addict because he
always thought of him to be a good boy despite being a bit rash. The narrator
loathes that his brother has turned to drugs and even believes that there is
nothing he can do to help. The narrator suggests when conversing with Sonny’s
childhood friend, that Sonny is beyond salvage and that the drug trouble Sonny
is going through has nothing to do with him. The narrator is so compelled he
cannot help his brother to the extent he avoids writing to Sonny until his daughters
died. But the narrator’s attitude changes when he receives Sonny’s replying
letter that describes how sorry and regretful Sonny was feeling for causing the
narrator, and other family members, too much pain. After this, the narrator
begins to write to Sonny frequently. The change in the narrator’s attitude
results in the storyteller picking Sonny up when he is set free and invites him
to stay with him. The narrator seems to sympathize with Sonny. He also feels
some regret and responsible for Sonny’s troubles because he thinks maybe he
should have been there to look after Sonny as their mother had directed him.
Also, he learns to appreciate Sonny choice to pursue music. This is after
seeing how absorbed Sonny was to his instrument and his lyrics when performing
at the bar. At first, the narrator has low regards for music. He is out of
touch with it that he does not understand the different types of music a
musician can play. He does not even know one of the greatest musicians of their
time. His attitude changes after going to the bar where Sonny plays. He
appreciates the beauty of the slow tune that Sonny sings and that it is not a lament.  The music reminded her of her mother, the
pain she might have gone through looking after them, his suffering and that of
his wife when they lost their daughter, and he even visualizes what it
should have been when their uncle died in the road accident. However, those
pains are washed away quickly by the tune.

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For You For Only $13.90/page!


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3)    The
three most essential encounters are the one with his mother, Creole, and off
course Sonny. His mother’s encounter left him feeling responsible for Sonny and
later in the story it makes him wish he was there for Sonny as older brothers
should. This encounter pushes him to put up Sonny with Isabel’s family while he
is away with the army. It also re-enforces his sense of loving people close to
him. The story about his uncle’s demise helps him understand his father’s
demeanor. Creole’s encounter helps him appreciate that music could be the only
path of salvation for Sonny after all. He views Creole as a father figure who
is significantly influencing and encouraging Sonny to revolutionize his music. He also sees Creole’s group as another
family that Sonny now has that is helping him get over his problems. The most
critical encounter that the narrator has with Sonny is through the first letter
from Sonny. That makes him regret his decision to not communicate often
with his brother. It also helps him understand Sonny’s problems. Through it, he
starts interacting with Sonny. Once that channel is opened, the two brothers
reconcile, and the narrator ends up accommodating Sonny. From there, Sonny seems
to reconsider his life and ends up meeting Creole and a revolution of his music
that earns the narrator’s respect. The mother and Sonny’s encounters help me
realize the importance of having a family and how essential it is to maintain
cordial relationships with family. This is because close, loving relationships
offer support and could help salvage someone’s life during the times of intense
suffering. The encounter with Creole helps me appreciate the need for meeting
new friends who are positive, share some passions as me, and this could lead to
a new beginning.

4)    The
way I see myself fitting in this story is through the encounter of Sonny and
the narrator at the living room when Isabel is away with the kids. This event
reminds me of the difficulties I have opening up to people that are close to me
about my troubles.

 

5)    Sonny’s
new life in music is one full of optimism. This is because his last performance
not only draws applauds but also earns him respect from a brother who has always
been so skeptical about music as a career. Sonny is also happy with Creole
group. Creole also appears as a reasonable man, and a good mentor and through
him Sonny might stay in line and finally succeed in his endeavor towards
pioneering the blues genre.

 

 

6)    The
narrator’s guiding principles are discipline, family values, and the pursuit of
education. He thinks that Sonny is in trouble because he has been careless and
wild. When Sonny tells him, he wants to be a musician, he carefully questions him
in a manner that appears to warn Sonny not to rush it a decision that would not
be beneficial. His family values are evident by how highly he respects and
shower praise to his wife. The narrator is also there for Sonny when he is set
free despite his anger concerning Sonny’s loss of control. When he accompanies
Sonny to the bar, this shows he loves his brother. He is also a believer in the
value of education. This is clear from the frustration he expresses when Sonny
drops out of school which leads him to cut communication with him. On the other
hand, the mother represents deep religious values. She is an advocate of
compassion, forgiveness, and love for even people that killed her husband’s
brother. She also believes in the close family relationship where each member
looks after one another. As for Sonny, his driving force is passion and
perseverance. Though all music has done for him is lead him into a path of
self-destruction, his love for it keeps him going. He does not give up until
the end where there is some hope his career will turn for the best.

7)    The
narrator and Sonny both learn a few things through the narrative. The narrator
learns sympathy not only toward Sonny but also Sonny’s childhood friend at the
beginning of the story. He also learns to appreciate music, and when he sees
Sonny’s expression when performing at the end of the story, he understands that
music extraordinarily affected Sonny. At that point, he respects Sonny’s
insistence on pursuing music and sends him a drink to show it. On the other
hand, Sonny understands that his behavior affects those around him too. He,
therefore, expresses remorse and he is trying to lead a better life.
Additionally, Sonny realizes that the courage drugs seem to give their users is
fake and criticizes himself and other musicians who take drugs before
performing. 

8)    A
personal experience that resonates with me is I always look after my younger
siblings and take responsibilities. I will always be there for them no matter
what they are going through. I push them to do the right things at all times.

9)    The
story presents several moral values. First, there is the personal value of
responsibility. It is expressed by the narrator sense of duty towards taking
care of his brother after their mother dies which he fulfills by arranging for
his accommodation with the Isabel family. Second, there is the moral value of
perseverance shown by Sonny’s never give up attitude in his pursuit of music.
Third, the narrator reveals generosity when he accommodates Sonny. Forth, there
is the value of honesty. This is expressed when Sonny tells his brother that he
cannot honestly know whether he will resort to taking heroin or not. Respect
too is evident in the narrative. When the narrator sends a drink to Sonny, it
shows great respect for Sonny’s abilities. Lastly, there is compassion. This is
expressed by the mother when she tells the narrator that she has long
understood the pain their father has always been through after the death of the
narrator’s uncle. The other incidence of compassion is indicated by the
narrator and his family overall reception and reaction towards Sonny when he
starts living with them.

 

10) The
narrator foreshadows the revolution of Sonny’s music when he narrates hearing
about a tune one of the boys at the school was whistling. He describes the tune
as cool and moving despite the harshness in the boy’s surroundings. Such a
scene occurs when Sonny plays at the bar. The music was cool, slow and touched
the narrator. Though it took him back to a chaotic period of his life, it does
so momentarily and in a manner, that does not mournful but rather beautiful. The
author also foreshadowed his change of attitude towards his brother when he
encountered Sonny’s friend who he used to hate, but by the time they were
parting ways, his feeling had turned to sympathies. In fact, after the first
letter from Sonny, the narrator appears to understand why Sonny has turned out
the way he did.

 

11)                 
The concluding statement of the
narrator “it the drink
glowed and shook above my brother’s head like the very cup of trembling”
(Baldwin 99), symbolizes that Sonny’s was at a precarious juncture in his life.
While the glowing signifies optimism and hope for brighter, the trembling cup
expresses that there could be some uncertainties before Sonny put all
tribulations he has been through behind him. 

x

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