"Sonny's Blues" is a story that shows how two brothers cope with tragedy and suffering in their lives while trying to repair their broken relationship. The story begins with the narrator reading of his brother Sonny's arrest for heroin use. The narrator, through his view point, takes the reader through various unfortunate events within his family that have caused pain he has not yet dealt with. The story closes in a club with Sonny playing blues on the piano while his brother watches and listens. It is at this point, the narrator finally lets go and deals with his own sadness.
Certain events in the narrator's life such as the deaths of his uncle, father, and mother have turned the narrator into an unfeeling man who can not forgive his brother Sonny for falling into a life of heroine addiction. Throughout the story the narrator is angered by the the choices his brother makes such as not attending school, drug use, hanging out in nightclubs, and eventually his arrest. The narrator's anger is expressed in one scene where he goes to his brothers apartment and tells Sonny “that he might as well be dead as live the way he was living”(Baldwin, 2007).
It is not until the narrator's death of his own daughter Gracie does he try to reconcile with his brother Sonny through a letter to the prison. Sonny's response opens the doors of communication between the two of them. Sonny ask his brother to meet him in New York. The narrator gives Sonny a place to stay after his release.
Sonny talks the narrator into seeing him play piano in a nightclub. He finally understood his brother's life through the blues that Sonny played. The narrator states “Sonny's fingers filled the air with life, his life. But that life contained so many others”(Baldwin, 2007). It is through the energy of Sonny's blues music that the narrator's character becomes more dynamic. He recalls his uncle, mother, and daughter and remarks “it brought something else back to me, and carried me past...