The estimated reading time for this post is 3 Minutes

Following the narrator’s perspective along the tale, it’s possible to sense he is a worrying man, who is scared of reality after everything he went through. As he faces the reality of something unpleasant yet familiar, we catch a glimpse of who Sonny is through the narrative and his perspective.

For instance, in a specific part of the story, the narrator flashes back to a younger Sonny and the loss of their parents, introducing the back story of a black family, whose father witnessed his younger brother being run over by a white man, and there was nothing he could do. As well as introduces Sonny’s dream to follow a career as a pianist, and the narrator denies it, infatuating to his brother that he would not be successful. To explain this infatuation, it’s necessary a deeper look at the context/time this tale happens, in 1957 the civil/human rights movement was only starting, in the system, black people were segregated, and a black person succeeding in music seemed improbable.

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Moreover, the narrator wanted a safer life for his brother Sonny, one he could live knowing Sonny would come home. Only at the end of the tale, the narrator experiences for the first time his brother’s music. Baldwin does a marvelous job of getting to that point of the story, showcasing the music as such an important tool for this group to communicate, to demonstrate their feelings, the burden, and sorrow they face each day, using Sonny’s character to submerge in this pain and conflict, being someone wronged by everybody yet with a lot of capability. The emotions Sonny’s music caused his brother’s realization, that he silenced him for so long for fear of what might happen, when Sonny would only tell their stories “I seemed to hear with what burning he had made it his, with what burning we had yet to make ours, how we could cease lamenting (pg, 148)”.

With that in mind, this is a tale of generations of people who were silenced and frightened by the color of their skin, who fought and still fight each day for equal rights. A tale of a scared family, a caring brother, a person’s dreams, a racial movement, and the importance of music. The rhythm Blues was created by African Americans who refused to be oppressed and silenced, wanting to express their honesty through music. The author does a genuine description of all those elements, displaying reality and its complications through a family story.

The tale portrays this love/hate brotherly bond implacably and uniquely. Baldwin’s writing captivates the audience, demonstrating subtly all the feelings both characters are facing. In the same way, he works with a plethora of information between the lines, the more you read, the more you capture other contexts the author introduces, adding these extraordinary perspectives with elegance immersing the audience. Particularly, this is a tale that should be deeply appreciated, taking the time to completely understand a fuller picture and its meaning to society.   

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