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Dillee 1 Melody Dillee Mrs. Martin Honors Classics in Literature 12 December 2011 Sonny’s Last Chance Characters in literature usually get one last chance to change something in their life. In “Sonny’s Blues”, by James Baldwin, Sonny receives a last chance to turn his life around. In the story “Sonny’s Blues” it is Sonny’s last chance because he is getting older and had many chances to change, but never has. If sonny does not change his ways of life, he never will. One of the most important ways Sonny can change his life is by discontinuing his drug use. He is gets into much trouble due to his drug abuse, “He had been picked up, the evening before, in a raid on an apartment downtown, for peddling and using heroin” (Baldwin 1). Sonny is arrested for selling and using heroin; this is one of the biggest ways in which Sonny needs to change his life for the better. He also needs to change in order to become more mature. In “Sonny’s Blues”, by James Baldwin, Sonny’s drug use also symbolizes his immaturity. Sonny is also getting this last chance to grow up and become mature. Sonny still acts as if he is a boy, “These boys, now, were living as we’d been living then, they were growing up with a rush and their heads bumped abruptly against the low ceiling of their actual possibilities” (Baldwin 1). This quote says that the boys are much like Sonny and his brother were when they were younger. The low ceiling symbolizes that there were not many possibilities for them when they were younger. This immaturity is the reason why Sonny is still in Harlem, instead of somewhere better. Dillee 2 In “Sonny’s Blues”, Sonny’s drug use and immaturity cause him to stay in Harlem where he can not do much in his life. Harlem is the reason he has not grown, “And he’d always been a good boy, he hadn’t turned hard or evil or disrespectful, the way kids can, so quick, so quick, especially in Harlem. I didn’t want to believe that I’d ever see my brother going down, coming to nothing, all that light in his face gone out, in the condition I’d already seen so many others” (Baldwin 1). In this quote the narrator is describing his brother and how Harlem has changed him. Sonny was a good boy but was changed by his surroundings; he only has one last chance to reverse this transformation from a good boy to what he is now. Dillee 3 Works Cited Baldwin, James. "Sonny's Blues by James Baldwin." Scribd. Web. 12 Dec. 2011. <http://www.scribd.com/doc/7086554/Sonnys-Blues-by-James-Baldwin>.
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