August 8, 2010 Reaching Your Dreams Is it hard to live a good life after you have been through so many things that bring you down? Can you just get right back up and be positive? In the short story “Sonny’s Blues,” two of the characters endured tough hardships to make their hopes and dreams come true. Sonny’s dream was to become a jazz musician. His brother, narrator of the story, wanted to live a stable life and take care of Sonny. This story shows that things will bring you down, but you can always get back up and experience positive outcomes as long as you work hard at it.
Sonny is a great example of experiencing very negative things and turning them into something positive. Sonny is a very important character in the story. His past is with drugs and he has always wanted to be a jazz musician. He started off dealing and doing drugs. Not many people approved of this, but that was how he was living his life. This was the beginning of darkness in his young life. Dealing and consuming drugs eventually put Sonny in jail and his brother just could not believe it. After getting out of this place he temporarily called home, things started to change in his life.
For example, he was getting better acquainted with his brother especially after all they used to do was fight every time they met. He invited his brother to a nightclub to hear him play. His brother soon came to realize that music was a very important part of Sonny’s life. Sonny always had this dream of being a jazz musician. His first instrument was the drums even though he felt like he could play the piano. However, he really wanted to play jazz. When he was young, he would always be at home with Isabel, his brother’s wife, playing music in all of his spare time.
One day, Isabel’s mother received a letter from the school board. Sonny had been skipping school and hanging out at Greenwich Village with musicians and other characters. Music definitely identified Sonny as person. In the story, Sonny’s brother wanted a stable life with family and to take care of Sonny. Sonny’s brother made a decision to leave his neighborhood and drugs and enlist in the Army. He became a school teacher after the Army, was married to Isabel, and had three children (a daughter Gracie, who died from polio and two sons). Although he and his family lived in a housing project, it was ot far from where he taught and they lived there partly because of the kids. He was living a pretty stable life. After hearing the story about how his uncle died, Sonny’s brother made a promise to his mother that he wouldn’t let anything happen to Sonny. It wasn’t long before that promise was broken and mama passed away forcing him to find out more about Sonny and begin taking care of him. He provided a place for Sonny to live (with his wife Isabel and her family) and was determined to keep Sonny in school. However, Sonny had other plans - he left and joined the Navy.
In conclusion, as Sonny and his brother endured different hardships to get to their dreams, for example, Sonny overcoming his drug use and aspiring to become a jazz musician and his brother having to take care of his family (including Sonny) to live a stable life while dealing with the loss of his daughter, the characters pull together as a family and help each other to live well and reach their dreams Works Cited Baldwin, James. “Sonny’s Blues. ” Fiction100: An Anthology of Short Fiction. James H. Pickering. Eleventh. Upper Saddle River: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2007. 37-58