Even with these two brothers, that took very different roads in life, music becomes a language that both can understand. Also, ice can symbolize fright, dread, and the feeling of being unsettled.
There is no escape and if there is a sliver of hope someone will come along and extinguish it. To escape that painful, dark world is something Sonny cannot describe easily and that is why his form of expression is music. The music is cathartic for Sonny and, as a result, becomes necessary for his survival.
When the narrator watches Sonny play at the club, he learns about a whole new side to his brother that he never knew. Baldwin uses the jazz music to demonstrate the hatred that the narrator has towards musicians and drugs.
When we read about these conditions, we have a sense that there is no hope for the people that are living in these conditions.
Darkness is introduced early in the story as we learn how the boys grew up with and were filled with rage.
Lightness and darkness usually symbolize good and vil. Music becomes one way that they can connect and it can be safely said that music saved their relationship when all else seemed to fail them. Playing is the only outlet he has to release the anger and frustration that his environment has caused him to feel.
Here we see that darkness is like a disease the boys are born with and something from which they must fight to be to rid. The narrator is scared for his brother and he feels partly guilty for not helping him in his time of need.
The same dread that the narrator was feeling earlier that day is coming back because he knows that it will be his responsibility to water over his younger brother. The most powerful symbol in the story is that of music because it allows Sonny to escape the world in which he lives and it finally allows his brother to understand from where he is coming.
The significance of this point cannot be overlooked because what Sonny must do to escape is beyond words. From this perspective, we see how the symbols of darkness light means imprisonment and freedom for both brothers. He tells him about the many ways people can keep from "drowning" in their misfortune.
Baldwin uses light to denote the good things that to Sonny. Darkness becomes a significant symbol because it represents the hopeless projects in which the boys grew up. Darkness and light are symbols incorporated throughout in the story to emphasize emotions and circumstances. Also, at the Symbolism in james baldwins sonnys blues essay of the story, the symbol of jazz music creates somewhat of a tie between the two brothers.
He tells us, "Freedom lurked around us and I understood, at last, that he could help us to be free if we would listen, that he would never be free until we did" Baldwin We are told, "All they really knew was two darknesses, the darkness of their lives Just before the narrator experiences watches his brother play, he says, "For while the tale of how we suffer As we have already mentioned, it becomes the toll by which Sonny can effectively deal with this world.
To see Sonny, to talk to him is only a reminder of their dark and painful past. Laurie Champion notes, "Music, specifically the blues, is the most significant motif in the story. The narrator helps us see the homes and the streets and equates that with a looming darkness that never goes away.
The ice that the narrator feels in his stomach is actually the feeling of fright. In addition, the darkness seems inescapable.
Baldwin successfully describes the neighborhood that the brothers spent their lives trying to escape. Sonny is able to tell his story and his suffering through playing jazz music. Sometimes lightness is used to symbolize salvation. He notes, "the unique quality of the Blues is its combination of personal and social significance in a lyric encounter with history" Reilly The fact that one brother is a junkie and one is an Algebra teacher only reinforces this notion.
He links jazz music with the kind of people who are not serious about life. Murray concurs, pointing out that the light that spills from the bandstand and the "way in which Sonny seems to be riding the waves of applause Symbols help us see and feel what is happening in the novel and between the brothers.
Finally, the narrator comes to understand what Sonny was speaking of when he talked about playing and connecting with the music. Music is the ultimate language that they both can finally understand.
Sonny tells his brother that he lives by a passion that his brother simply cannot understand.Baldwin’s use of the symbol of jazz music creates a deeper understanding and meaning behind “Sonny’s Blues.
” Ice, lightness and darkness, and jazz music are symbols that James Baldwin uses in his story to create depth and deeper meaning. Sonny's Blues by James Baldwin Essay - Sonny's Blues by James Baldwin "Sonny's Blues" is a story about two brothers, their past, and how their differences came between them.
They were apart for several years while Sonny was in jail, but once he got out they had a chance to mend their pasts. [In the following essay, Clark examines the ways in which Baldwin uses images of light and darkness in "Sonny's Blues." "Sonny's Blues" by James Baldwin is a sensitive story about the reconciliation of two brothers, but it is much more than that.
Symbolism in "Sonny's Blues" by James Baldwin Essay Words | 6 Pages. Symbolism in “Sonny’s Blues” by James Baldwin In James Baldwin’s “Sonny’s Blues,” the reader meets Sonny, a recovering addict, and his older brother, a high school teacher.
In James Baldwin’s short story “Sonny’s Blues” a young man questions his brotherly obligations after finding that his younger brother has been arrested for using drugs. Symbolism in "Sonny's Blues" by James Baldwin Essay Words Feb 11th, 6 Pages Symbolism in “Sonny’s Blues” by James Baldwin In James Baldwin’s “Sonny’s Blues,” the reader meets Sonny, a recovering addict, and his older brother, a high school teacher.Download