"Sonny's Blues" and Blues Music
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This paper introduces, discusses and analyzes "Sonny's Blues" by James Baldwin, a short story set in New York City's Harlem. Specifically, the the paper discusses the role the blues plays in the story. The paper shows that "Sonny's Blues" is about being lost, and trying to be found, within the context of being a black man in this society; and of finding oneself as so many black men have, through the blues: both as music, and as storytelling.
From the Paper:"But if blacks recognize each other in the rarefied smoky atmosphere of the jazz clubs, black society at large often doesn't even honor its own. It's sometimes impossible to earn a living as a musician--something the narrator warned Sonny about after their mother died. The narrator doesn't even know who Charlie Parker is perhaps the greatest jazz musician of all time. If blacks themselves can't recognize the geniuses among them, what chance does Sonny have? "You'll have to be patient with me. Now. Who's this Parker character?, the narrator asks Sonny, who becomes sullen and turns his back. "He's just one of the greatest jazz musicians alive." Sonny, too, will turn out to be a creative genius. For the black man, this means spontaneous improvisation: "Baldwin's bastardized characters must legitimize self through endless improvisation"[they] begin with memory, then bursts out into improvised song." (Tsomondo, p. 197)"
Cite this Analytical Essay:
"Sonny's Blues" and Blues Music (2003, January 26) Retrieved April 21, 2019, from https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/sonny-blues-and-blues-music-23464/
""Sonny's Blues" and Blues Music" 26 January 2003. Web. 21 April. 2019. <https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/sonny-blues-and-blues-music-23464/>