English 1020 2


Hello class, please post some of your reactions, critical ideas, and interpretations of James Baldwins Sonnys Blues. Before engaging in this thread, you should have completed all readings in Module 2. **You will not be able to view other classmates’ responses until after you post.

I’ve given some prompts for consideration but feel free to bring up other insights or questions.

A short paragraph or two should suffice but I would like you to present at least two (or more if you want) insights. You should incorporate some “direct quotes” from the story to support your points.

Follow Week 1 Discussions etiquette by creating salutations and closing signatures to both your main response and peer responses.

When you have posted your response, please reply to at least two of your peers.

Discussion Prompts: Select at least two to discuss and, of course, you can present other ideas not indicated here.

  • Sonny’s desire to be a musician and how this affects his older brother (the narrator); the two brothers’ relationship dynamic (particularly the responsibility an older sibling has to a younger sibling? generational differences, historical context (1957)
  • the point of view of the story—how we learn about Sonny and others through the single perspective of the older brother who is unnamed
  • how Baldwin uses music within the story to enhance conflict and characterization; how music is used as a form of communication, solace, survival… (for Sonny? even for those in the street revival? etc.) and, ultimately, how music is used as a unifying force for the two brothers at the end of the story.
  • The narrator undergoes change by the end of the story, thus enhancing the literary use of the character arc: how a character changes by the end of the story as the plot unfolds. You can provide any insights on how the narrator slowly evolves and achieves his epiphany when he finally hears his brother play.


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