He had made it his: that long line, of which we knew only Mama and Daddy. Gracie dies of polio at the age of two. Through these examples, Baldwin attempts to communicate the anger and desperation that plague Harlem and the wider African American community. Once, in a gathering of church people, his mother shared about the death of his uncle that his father struggled for quite long. James Baldwin Theme of Music The two biggest genres of music that seem to be conveyed in Sonny's Blues are the Blues and Bebop. Also, ice can symbolize fright, dread, and the feeling of being unsettled.
He finally thinks of Sonny as he sits surrounded by the darkness that represents not just his own personal pain, but the pain of his community. But the man who creates the music is hearing something else, is dealing with the roar rising from the void and imposing order on it as it hits the air. The story opens with the first-person narrator reading in the newspaper that his younger brother -- from whom he is estranged -- has been arrested for selling and using heroin. The narrator remembers his younger brother, Sonny, back when he was in high school, with a bright and open face and wonderfully direct brown eyes. But don't you forget what I told you, you hear? The narrator and his wife, Isabel, live in Harlem by choice. Sonny's brother is a pragmatic person, a teacher, husband, and father.
And this was partly because Sonny was the apple of his father's eye. Although Sonny being a heroin addict was only a secondary point, it still played a very important role in the story. The brother is remembering the past and reflection on the mistakes he and Sonny made. Suffering and darkness, if used creatively, can produce works of unparalleled beauty. During this time black people were forced to live in a world of prejudice, discrimination, poverty and suppression. When it is cold outside, people wear jackets to eliminate the bitterness of the cold.
A musician named Creole and two others form a quartet with Sonny. I caught him just before he fell when he took the first steps he ever took in this world. He and his boys up there were keeping it new, at the risk of ruin, destruction, madness, and death, in order to find new ways to make us listen. This story begins when the narrator finds out that his younger brother has been arrested for either using or selling heroin. The darkness, which represents a roster of social and personal problems, can be found everywhere. It is rarely referenced directly but its pull can be felt continuously.
New York: Dial Press, 1965. Music becomes the incentive for change, and the narrator quickly learns to not only understand the music and himself, but also his brother Sonny. The last statement is what the narrator believes to be true. And even then, on the rare occasions when something opens within, and the music enters, what we mainly hear, or hear corroborated, are personal, private, vanishing evocations. He read books about people sitting on rocks, naked, in all kinds of weather, but mostly bad, naturally, and walking barefoot through hot coals and arriving at wisdom. Yet there is a sense that this darkness provides safety for Sonny, rather than menace.
Unconsciously, it is an epiphany that the Narrator would later acknowledge. The symbolism in this story divulges information about the characters that could never have just been plainly said. It makes you feel sort of warm and cool at the same time. The cup of trembling is borrowed from the Bible, where it is used to describe the suffering and fear that have troubled people. He died in the street because he was a Black drunk man poked fun about by White drunk men.
And I was yet aware that this was only a moment, that the world waited outside, as hungry as a tiger, and that trouble stretched above us, longer than the sky. Hearing of their histories and the pains they've under gone, we see how they deal with their pain, which often truly tells character. The discovery of the arrest forces the narrator to face the past and his relationship with Sonny. When he finally listens to his brother play, the narrator understands and accepts the meaning of his brother's life. Sonny argues that all human beings, including the narrator, must suffer, and that each has his own way of coping with that suffering. The music seems to draw poison out of the people who are listening. For, while the tale of how we suffer, and how we are delighted, and how we may triumph is never new, it always must be heard.
Each phase of this journey will have an effect on them and others around them. Baldwin uses the life of two brothers to establish parallelism of personal struggle with society, and at the same time implies a psychological process of one brother leaving his socially ingrained prejudices to understand and accept the other's flaws. Both brothers grew up in Harlem, a neighborhood rife with poverty and despair. The narrator's perspective of the Harlem is rough and shady due to his ability to accept new ideas and gestures. He became real to me again.