Readers ask: How Do The Events In The Past Help Develop The Plot For Sonnys Blues?

How do events in the past presented as flashbacks or as the narrator’s recollections help to develop the plot and characterization in Sonny’s Blues consider the narrator’s description of his and Sonny’s childhood their lives on the Harlem streets the Sunday dinners at home the death of their uncle the narrator’s last conversation?

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.

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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 the story 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 is the historical context that influenced Sonny’s Blues by James Baldwin?

“ Sonny’s Blues ” is set in post–World War II New York, in the midst of an important cultural and political revolution that permanently changed the country.

What is the message 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 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 happens in the end of Sonny’s Blues?

At the very end of the story, the narrator has come to watch Sonny play piano at a nightclub, and it seems that he finally sees how talented his brother is. As a gesture of this new understanding, the narrator sends Sonny a drink, which he places above him on the piano as he plays.

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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 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!

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.

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.

Who is the main character of Sonny’s Blues?

Sonny. The protagonist is the central character of the story, and although we hear the most from the narrator, Sonny is really at the heart of this narrative.

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.

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What are the settings in Sonny’s Blues?

Harlem, New York in the 1950s ” Sonny’s Blues ” takes place in Harlem during the early 1950s. The city plays a pretty important role in the narrative, since part of the reason Sonny turns to drugs is to escape the feeling of being trapped by his surroundings.

Is Sonny’s Blues spiritual or religious?

“ Sonny’s Blues ” is no exception as Baldwin poetically weaves religion and his beliefs through the short story. Even though Baldwin left the religious society at a young age, it was never truly able to leave his writing as evident in “ Sonny’s Blues ” and his other published works.

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