Thebook Sonny’s Blues depicts a family that had a relationship thatwas less than perfect. The teacher who is the narrator of the storyhas a lot of fear and anxiety due to the fate of his brother calledSonny. Sonny had been arrested for selling heroin.
Thenarrator neither visited his brother in prison nor wrote him a letteruntil the death of his daughter. Sonny’s daughter died while he wasstill in jail. The narrator feels terrible since he had neglectedSonny and never bothered even to write him a letter while he wasstill in prison. (Baldwin, 109).Although Sonny was in anguish, he wasglad that his parents were not alive to see him in such a condition.The relationship between the narrator, Sonny and their parents wasnot good at all no one took care of the other.
Thenarrator reminisces about the childhood of his brother Sonny theirfather was very loving to them although he was alcoholic. Thenarrator lets us know that Sonny and their father were never in goodterms because both of them did things in privacy, Sonny sold heroinand did not want his father to find out of this secret, while thefather was also alcoholic. The story creates an image which showsthat the parents and the children did not have anything in common,and disunity had started a long time before, which should not be thecase for members of the same family.
Thenarrator remembers after the funeral of their father, they discussedSonny with his mother. She asked him to be his brother’s keeper.Their mother had seen the need for the family to reconcile and unitetogether, but the narrator did not heed the words of his mother andinstead he did nothing meaningful to ensure that his brother stoppedselling heroin.
Baldwin,James. Sonny`sblues.Ernst Let Strachan, 2009.