Influences into James Baldwin's "Sonny's Blues" Book Review by Nicky

Influences into James Baldwin's "Sonny's Blues"
A look at the various influences, from Western philosophers to the African-American cultural heritage, on James Baldwin's work, "Sonny's Blues".
# 145122 | 1,040 words | 4 sources | MLA | 2010 | US
Published on Oct 26, 2010 in Literature (American) , English (Analysis) , African-American Studies (General)

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This paper first explains that "Sonny's Blues" by James Baldwin is a transformational narrative based on the cultural pillars of music and religion. Next, the author relates that music is the main element on which the story is created because of its numerous personal and musical implications as a personal and cultural bridge. The paper suggests that a religious element is present in the resemblance between the narration's character and the biblical characters of Cain and Abel story from the Book of Genesis and the parable of the Prodigal Son from Luke's gospel.

From the Paper:

"Arlene Wilner refers a lot to these transformations in her pedagogical work "Confronting Resistance: Sonny's Blues - and Mine". In her opinion, there are two levels of transformation: the surface one, that anyone can observe, and the deeper, more profound one. According to the first level of evaluation, Sonny undertook the greatest changes in his personality, because he went from ''from being addicted to drugs to jamming in a club, free of their influence.'' However, Wilner is immediately keen to point out that the narrator is undertaking a much more significant change if we take into consideration the second level of evaluation."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Tsomondo, Thorell. No Other Tale to Tell: "Sonny's Blues" and "Waiting for the Rain". Spring 1995.
  • Sherard, Tracey. Sonny's Bebop: Baldwin's "Blue Text" as Intracultural Critique. African American Review. Volume 32. Number 4. 1998
  • Wilner, Arlene. Confronting Resistance: Sonny's Blues--and Mine. Pedagogy: Critical Approaches to Teaching Literature, Language, Composition, and Culture Volume 2, Number 2. 2002

Cite this Book Review:

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Influences into James Baldwin's "Sonny's Blues" (2010, October 26) Retrieved April 21, 2024, from

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"Influences into James Baldwin's "Sonny's Blues"" 26 October 2010. Web. 21 April. 2024. <>