Communication In "Sonny's Blues." Essay

831 words - 4 pages

In the story "Sonny's Blues" by James Baldwin, we see many uses of symbolism, which are created through his use of dialogue. Dialogue is the most critical literary technique that Baldwin uses to achieve the intense connection to the characters that the reader feels in "Sonny's Blues"."Sonny's Blues" is a story about the relationship of two brothers and how they deal with their very different lives. This story is also about a family member coping with another family member's addiction. The first metaphor we are exposed to in this story is found in the second paragraph:"A great block of Ice settled in my belly and kept melting there all day long, while I taught my classes algebra. It was a ...view middle of the document...

Both Sonny and the Narrator are looking for an "escape" from Harlem. The narrator feels that he has escaped by becoming a school teacher. Sonny had tried to escape from Harlem through drug use and eventually finds his true "escape" through music. While the two brothers are riding in this cab together the narrator comes to a revelation about their differences which is eloquently written by Baldwin, "Yet as the cab moved uptown through streets which seemed, with a rush, to darken with dark people, and as I covertly studied Sonny's face it came to me that what we were both seeking through our separate cab windows was that part of us which had been left behind"(74). This is another example of the critical use of dialogue in order for the reader to feel the same emotions that the characters are feeling. If Baldwin had written this any other way, the true emotional response of returning home under negative circumstances would not have been achieved. When Baldwin describes this cab ride the reader is immediately catapulted into the mind of the narrator who is trying to figure out his brother that is so entirely...

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