Jazz Effecting Change
The struggle against society can be the deadliest struggle of all. One child has or will struggle against the emotional escape of drugs and crimes. Eventually, the child joins the ranks of other members of society fighting a war against evil. In Sonny's Blues, James Baldwin brings actual events of the struggles upon Sonny to life. The reader is introduced to Sonny's secret against the pressures of life. It follows Sonny's past and present battles with evil, his triumphs, and his defeats. Short story, “Sonny's Blues”, James Baldwin presents a complex picture of jazz music, drugs, and growing up in Harlem as a means of coping with sorrow and fear.
Inside short story, “Sonny's Blues”, Baldwin uses the image from the book of Isaiah of the “cup of trembling” to symbolize the suffering and trouble that Sonny has experienced in his life. He emphasizes the quickness at which the Harlem residents fall to the dangers of evil through the use of drugs and crime. Baldwin states that, “The children of Harlem are described as often turning “hard or evil disrespectful, the way kids can, so quick, especially in Harlem” (Baldwin). These children are compared to soldiers in a war. They are all at risk for the same fate which transpired among Sonny's uncle. The death of Sonny's uncle under the wheels of a car driven by a group of drunken whites, shows repercussions of the treatment received by black people. As a result, Sonny's father is tormented by the memory of his brother's death and suffers from a hatred of white people. This hatred, Baldwin suggests, distorts his soul. From the harshness of life in Harlem and the pain Sonny feels, leads his mother to believe he is suffering more strongly than most. Thus, she looks to have Sonny's brother as a support for Sonny.
For that reason, she tells him, “I ain't telling you all this to make you scared or bitter or to make you hate nobody. I'm telling you this because you got a brother. And the world ain't...