sonny's last chance by ajizai


									                                                                                            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.


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