It is a beautiful story about two brothers who seemingly love each other but have a very dulcet time understanding each others lives. The older brother, who remains nameless, feels inextricably bound to his brother Sonny, not only because he Is of relation, but because their mother wanted Sonny to be always protected and looked after. The story begins with Sonny being picked up by the police for peddling and using Heroin.
Sonny brother reads about it in the paper and does not know how to react primarily because they never understood one another, always argued, and rarely conversed. However, he had made a promise to his mother before she died to always look after Sonny, so eventually he writes to Sonny in Jail, and they meet after he is paroled. Sonny, the protagonist, is constantly assailed by his older brother to change his life, go to school, and find direction. However, all Sonny wants to do is play the piano in Greenwich, and his older brother doesn’t understand.
Throughout the story, the two are in discord with one another, but at the climax of the story, both Sonny and his brother find their harmony. As the story nears the end, Sonny asks his brother to accompany him to Greenwich In order to hear him play. HIS brother Is skeptical, but he accepts the offer merely to support his brothers wish. When Sonny takes the stage, his piano seems, at first, out of sync with the jazz quartet. Although, when Sonny plays Am I Blue, he becomes lost in the music and his sorrow is protruded through the music.
It as at this moment when his brother has an epiphany I felt my own tears begin to rise. 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(90). The story is then resolved, for Sonny brother feels alive, and more importantly understands the pain of his brother. The narrator tells many stories from, the place they grew up, the death of their parents, and how they parted which explains a little of why they didn’t communicate so well.
At the end of paragraph 70, right before paragraph 75, the narrator Is describing the two of them riding In a cab and taking Sonny to his home. He says, “It came to me that what we both were seeking through our separate cab windows was that part of ourselves which had been left behind. The story revolves around this thought because both of these characters want to retrieve some of their past to maybe help them cope with what has happened in their lives and try to find a way to go on. The narrator achieved a good Job and was able to start a family.
In cities, it is always hard for those born into poverty, to escape it. The narrator did not have the easiest life himself, his parents and his daughter all died much earlier than expected. It would not have been surprising if the brother did drugs as well. The key to Sonny’s future may Lie In his brother’s hands. Perhaps he can lead him down the right path as many other older brothers have. Sonny always felt negative pressure by his brother to succeed. If Sonny can find positive support In his family, he may be able to stay off the drugs.
Its Interesting that throughout the entire dialogue exchanged between Sonny and his brother, they never directly addressed Sonny’s them wanted to deal with. At the end of Sonny’s Blues, we see Sonny playing at the bar, and his music seems to evoke emotions felt by the musicians around him but also by his brother and a few in the audience. His music seems to produce feelings of dark emotion, sorrow, suffering, experiences all of us have been through but especially Sonny. His music is not used to end his suffering but rather to share it with everyone. Many of us repress such feelings of suffering but Sonny does not.
Seeing the environment he was living in, in addition to his weak family and Social system, drug usage appeared to be a real problem for people in Harlem . Fortunately, his brother was able to overcome the vicious cycle found in many major urban cities. However, Sonny was not. At first glance it may seem that Sonny uses drugs to escape from the harshness of reality, but it only enhances Sonny’s suffering and that is the purpose served by the drugs. Sonny brother began to appreciate Sonny’s musical talents after seeing first hand how it transforms him.
Ironically they seem to find a common bond through Sonny’s music. This is a bit awkward because never before did Sonny’s brother ever have an interest for his music. At this last event all the pieces come together or both of them. Through the music all the pain that they had felt with the death of Grace and with Sonny’s addiction came out. For once the Sonny brother really gets into his world and in return comes to an understanding. Through Sonny playing the blues, his brother comes to understand what has happened in Sonny’s life and his own.