Awakenings In Baldwin’s “Sonny’s Blues”

English 102
Personality conflicts are the major difficulties to deal with for people who struggle in merciless world to get a small place for theirselves without knowing exactly what they expect from life. Sometimes this inhaustible contention ends with frustration, but on the other hand a luminous victory. I read the same kind of victory in Baldwin’s Sonny’s Blues. The victory of African American family like many other families who have been suffering with racisim and personality conflicts for many years. The main character, Sonny and his older brother drew a veil over their life and personal contradictions, after winning their own victory thanks to awakenings such as who they are? and what is their point of view over the life?
The first awakening was seen in the story when the mother told Sonny’s brother the old story about his uncle. He was a young musician. One saturday night while he and Sonny’sfather were coming home from a performance a little drunk a car with full of white men who were also drunk tried to scare him, but unfortunatelly the car rolled over him and he died. After his father watched his brother’s death, he became a crazy man. All along his life when he saw a white man he thought he saw the man that killed his brother. In addition his father always acted like he was the roughest, strongest man on earth. He never mentioned this sad story to his kids After the whole story, Sonny’s brother actually realized that he did not know what his own father went through years ago and how hard his life was, and even he could not find a way to solve his problem about racisim.

At the end of the story there was another meaningful awakening where Sonny found himself and his voice on the bandstand without the aid of drugs. He thought that maybe he could not live without them. That night when he got to the stage with Creole who was playing bass fiddle in the band and also with a black man who was playing drums. They showed their performance on the bandstand but their performance had a significance meaning for Sonny. It was the first time he had a chance to prove himself that he could stand on his own feet alone and so he realized that his own voice became hundereds of young people’s common voice who were also suffering from drugs just like him.

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Sonny’s brother finally realized the difference of deep water and drowning in Sonny’s life. He found out that music which Sonny finally found his light between all the darkness, was the elixir of his life. It was his way of telling his story and that of his people. He existed with it and he never drowned in that dark water like how Creole thought to him. He expressed himself with his piano to the audience moreover to his brother who first time saw Sonny in his kingdom as powerful as he had never seen before. Sonny’s battle was over now because his brother heard what Sonny had gone through for his and his people’s freedom.

The last victory had won by Sonny’s brother. He finally became aware that he had to struggle with this world and his reality just like how his brother did. He had a simple life style and he never approve Sonny’s because, he always wanted Sonny to follow his way which he thought it was best for him. He did not question anything in his life and he never try to listen Sonny until that night. While he were listening to Sonny’s music everything that had happened to them passed through his mind first he remembered his mom then he saw the road where his father’s brother died later on he saw his little girl died from polio and his wife isabel’s tears because of mourning. That music was telling Sonny’s pain at the same time his brother’s. The time when he reached sonny’s soul he also reached himself. Now he felt the real sense of to be one of that people who suffered for many years to find the light for their life.

The upshot of Baldwin’s story are these awakenings of an African American family. Sonny’s brother lived his life wherever the life lead him but Sonny stopped this circulation and let him to hear his brother, himself and his people. At the end of the story the brothers both were successfully manage their personality conflicts. Sonny’s Blues is a very deep story that people should be grateful to Baldwin for having pointed such an important issue in people’s life who are struggling to find their own personalities.