How Do The Flashbacks In Sonnys Blues Develop The Plot?

Why are flashbacks important in Sonny’s Blues?

The flashbacks are an important and effective technique in this story because they enable the narrator to convey to his readers important snippets of Sonny’s life that help us to empathize with both him and the narrator.

What is the plot of Sonny’s Blues?

” Sonny’s Blues ” is a 1957 short story written by James Baldwin, originally published in Partisan Review. The story contains the recollections of a black algebra teacher in 1950s Harlem as he reacts to his brother Sonny’s drug addiction, arrest, and recovery.

What effect does switching from past to present have on Sonny’s Blues?

The effect overwhelms the reader, giving them a clear understanding of the depth of Sonny’s–and the narrators–struggle. By focusing heavily on past events Baldwin reminds us that the past structures the present. You just studied 37 terms!

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What is the climax of Sonny’s Blues?

The climax of “Sonny’s Blues ” occurs after Sonny returns to Harlem to live in Greenwich Village, and they have a heated argument. James Baldwin, who composed songs at one time for Ray Charles and was close friends with trumpeter Miles Davis and others, gives to his ” Sonny’s Blues ” much musicality.

Why does Baldwin use flashbacks in Sonny’s Blues?

In Sonny’s Blues by James Baldwin, flashbacks are used as a technique to develop the characters. Flashbacks reveal the characters motives as well as inform the reader of why they are the way they are. Through the use of flashbacks in the entirety of the story, we gain insight on The Narrator, Sonny, and their father.

Does Sonny die in Sonny’s Blues?

The narrator didn’t know whether Sonny was dead or alive until he received a postcard from Greece. After the war, the two brothers returned to New York, but they didn’t see each other for quite some time. When they eventually met, they fought about Sonny’s decisions in life.

What is the main idea of Sonny’s Blues?

In ” Sonny’s Blues,” a man finally comes to understand the darkness and suffering that consumes his brother, and he begins to appreciate the music that his brother uses to calm those blues. The main theme of “Sonny’s Blues ” is suffering, particularly the sufferings of black people in America.

What is the conflict of Sonny’s Blues?

There are a lot of conflicts at work in ” Sonny’s Blues.” The overarching conflict in the story is that between black existence and white society, and this has strongly influenced how the narrator views the world. He describes the struggle of growing up in Harlem, where many succumb to drug use, and many never escape.

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What is the point of view in Sonny’s Blues?

” Sonny’s Blues ” is told in the first person from the point of view of an unnamed narrator who, we find out, is Sonny’s brother. The narrator in this story is an interesting figure.

What is a good thesis statement for Sonny’s Blues?

THESIS: By the end of ” Sonny’s Blues,” the narrator is liberated from his warped personality; he finally begins to feel, which means he will be freed from his fear and sadness. This paper has a lot to prove. It must begin by proving that the narrator does indeed have a “warped” personality.

What are the symbols in Sonny’s Blues?


  • The Cup of Trembling. At the end of the story, the narrator describes a glass sitting over Sonny’s piano as shaking “like the very cup of trembling” to highlight what a difficult and complicated position Sonny is in.
  • Housing Projects.
  • Light and Darkness.

What does the final sentence in Sonny’s Blues mean?

Scholars and critics tend to interpret this passage as God’s expression of forgiveness and humankind’s opportunity for redemption – God has essentially removed the temptation that initially created his anger. For this reason literary critics often read the ending of ” Sonny’s Blues ” as a symbol of Sonny’s redemption.

What is the conclusion of Sonny’s Blues?

The story gives its conclusion when the narrator realizes that music has helped Sonny to stay free. Furthermore, the narrator recognizes that the blues can help everyone be true to what and who they are. ‘ Sonny’s Blues ‘ tell us that it is a good idea to follow your decision, or judgement on your future life.

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Who is the antagonist in Sonny’s Blues?

Harlem sort of looms as a villainous presence throughout the story, and we think that’s what makes the neighborhood the story’s antagonist.

What is the rising action in Sonny’s Blues?

The rising action would consist of the narrator remembering his mother’s words about how important he and Sonny are to each other. It would show the narrator and Sonny reuniting, traveling around the city together, and the conversation between them about his drug use and the reasons for it.

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