Sonny’s Blues the author is presenting the past from the perspective of the present in order to understand his own feelings concerning the role of a father. The two brothers in the story had different life choices. Both Sonny and the narrator have found their own mode of escaping the violence and harshness of the ghetto, different though those modes might be. After the death of the mother the narrator feels he is his brother’s keeper, because of the promise he made to the mother. He is not exactly happy about it and especially Sonny’s life style. Nevertheless, this is his only brother and he made a promise not to turn his back on him. Sonny was more like his uncle a music lover. Before the mother died she told him about his father and the pain he went through after the death of his brother. His father’s brother was a music lover and somewhat like Sonny. So, by telling this story it would help the narrator to understand Sonny. Now he knows a little about his family background and roots. At the end the narrator was finally able to see and understand what music did for Sonny; it allow him to be himself and express himself to other.
Explore the implications of the allusion to the Book of Isaiah 51:17-23 in the concluding sentence. What has the narrator learned as the result of his experience?
All of the desolation, destruction, famine, sword things that we (the narrator) go through in this life, are learned through other who have shared these same experiences. Our oppressor (Satan spiritually, mankind physically) causes a trembling in our lives; but just like Jerusalem, who was and still is oppressed; God has already taken our “cup of trembling”. We are delivered through the sharing of our experiences with one another, freeing ourselves from one who causes the trembling. It was once said that the only thing we learn from history is that we do not learn; it is because we do not listen, or learn from one another. Sonny made his own history through his music.
In short, life has written us the words of a song. We choose the tempo, the key and style we choose to play it.
Word Count: 380