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Comparison Essay - Sonny's Blues

            In "Sonny's Blues" written by James Baldwin two brothers, one an inspiring musician, the other a school teacher, are torn apart by their differences. The unnamed narrator is telling the story about his life and his brother, Sonny. The narrator lives "It might be said, perhaps, that I had escaped, after all, I was a school teacher, or that Sonny had, he hadn't lived in Harlem for years."(Baldwin 77) The story of "Sonny's Blues" shows how two brothers can put aside their differences all through one brothers' music. The story is told from the unnamed narrator's point of view that happens.
             to be Sonny's older brother, he isn't given a name so he is just called narrator .The narrator is described as being seven years older than Sonny. He describes this as "The seven years difference in our ages lay between us like a chasm: I wondered if these years would operate between us as a bridge."(Baldwin 71) He is a high school teacher in the city and in the beginning of the story he remembers the days when Sonny was a young boy "When he was about as old as the boys in my classes his face had been bright and open, there was a lot of copper in it; and he'd had wonderfully direct brown eyes, and great gentleness and privacy" (Baldwin 71). The unnamed narrator doesn't seem to want to believe that his brother is a drug addict and it hurts him to take in the truth of reality. He also is very strict and goes by the rules and tries to make decisions for Sonny without even asking him. When he finally sees Sonny he criticizes his decision to become a musician saying" You know people can't always do exactly what they want to do." (Baldwin 83) He is married to Isabel and has two kids with her and one of his kid's names Gracie dies of a sickness. He also worries about Sonny way too much. The narrator doesn't seem to listen to his brother and in the story we can see how this kind of relationship is bad.

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