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The primary protagonist in James Baldwin's short tale Sonny's Blues is Sonny's brother, the storyteller. The author describes his brother's pain as a drug-addicted. Even though the author is estranged from his home and community, he understands what is going on. In terms of estrangement, the author has strained relationships with his sole family, Sonny, the little brother.
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He is struggling to focus in the classroom and thinks as if his life is collapsing around him. The author is likewise unfriendly to his pupils, dismissing them as drug users in most instances. As the lecture concludes, the author finds compelled to visit his brother. This knowledge emphasizes the author's understanding of the profound isolation that surrounds him like a shade. As the narrative progresses, so does estrangement; the author perceives all of his pupils as drug users as if he is superior to them; regrettably, the author is so isolated that he becomes indifferent. He observes children playing but does not comprehend why adults interact with children since he is estranged in the initial instance and cannot enjoy this type of connection. He cannot see the cause for the children's delight, even though they are cheerful and shouting on the playgrounds.
Alienation persists as one of Sonny's pals visits the school complex to inform the author of his brother's detention. The narrator dislikes Sonny's friend based on the discussion that follows. For example, despite living in the author's neighborhood, the youngster rarely interacts with him. He refers to him as a 'cunning child,' and laments the fact that he usually handed him fifty cents on his borrowing adventures. The youngster, on the other hand, appears pleasant and informs him about Sonny. He gives the youngster a cigarette, demonstrating that, notwithstanding his condemnation of drug users, he is himself a smoker. Sonny's companion asks the author why the cops did not apprehend him, to which he cynically responds, he wasn't there, and he avoids people. Moreover, the youngster asks the author what his next move is regarding his brother's illness, but he remains silent; if anything, the author has not visited Sonny in over a year. Before his brother's arrest, the author had no idea where he lived. At this stage, two types of alienation emerge: firstly, the storyteller is estranged from himself; he doesn't comprehend himself. Secondly, he admits that he 'stays away from others,' and this comment demonstrates how deeply the author is estranged from his circumstances.
On their way back home, the author and the kid pass by a pub, where the author notices a small girl working as a bartender and felt sorry for her. On the contrary, he is curious about his brother's destiny in jail, but Sonny's buddy promises him that he would be released after recovery. The author is excited about his brother's upcoming independence. They arrive at the train terminal and split paths. The youngster, on the other hand, has no money and the author offers him some for him to ride the train. At the end of their conversation, they form a friendship link, and the author laments formerly disliking the youngster. He also pledges to contact Sonny as early as feasible. Even though the author despises his neighbors, he makes an effort to interact with them, as Sonny's companion does. As a result, the narrator finally begins to throw off the shackles of estrangement that have shackled him for years; at the very least, he begins to interact with others as the path of breaking estrangement begins.
After losing his child to polio, the author tries to scrawl a message to his brother as the shackles of separation fall piece by piece. Fortunately, Sonny responds to the letter, although he regrets his brother's carelessness and harshness. The letter serves as a watershed moment for the two siblings, and they re-connect. The letter restores the two siblings' broken connection; in actuality, the author gives his brother certain essential items to utilize while in jail. After admitting that he has become estranged both from individuals and from himself, the author sets out on a mission to repair those he has wronged over his troubled past. Sonny has been released from imprisonment, and the author travels to New York to pick him up. He is overjoyed to meet his little brother, but he is concerned about his presumably grim destiny. Their childhood bond blooms again throughout the session. The author muses about his brother's lifestyle as a baby, which piques his interest even more. They drive past their childhood neighborhoods on their journey back home. Even though it has been 15 years, the neighborhood has remained largely the same, except for a handful of additional structures. The author is not interested in living in such a neighborhood. He is pleased to be an educator and empathize with people who live in poverty; it is vital to note that the author was unconcerned previously, but nowadays he can manage to empathize with the disadvantaged in the community.
There is a social gathering at home, and Sonny offers the author's children some presents. The author thinks about his childhood before his parents' deaths. He recalls his father's alcoholism, which caused his father's demise. Furthermore, Sonny had a close bond with his deceased father since drinking was a similar factor in both of their lifestyles. The author's mother was generally vigilant, but he had no attention for her on their final encounter, so they didn't talk at all. Sadly, his mother expired before he left for warfare. Eventually, the author permits his brother to pursue his affinity for art as a pianist. Ultimately, the author is estranged from his family, acquaintances, neighbors, and himself. He recognizes his isolation and knows how to resolve it. After a long period, he begins to understand the individuals surrounding him, beginning with Sonny's companion and progressing through the young girl in the pub to Sonny himself. As the novel progresses, the author forms deep relationships with individuals surrounding him, allowing him to transcend his estrangement.
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