Response to “Sonny’s Blues”

Objective
To develop a response to a central theme of “Sonny’s Blues” by using both personal experience and specific textual evidence.

Instructions
How does Baldwin’s “Sonny’s Blues” characterize the relationship between suffering and art? Your 2 pages word response should use first person “I” and include some personal experience. You decide how personal. If you have, for example, someone in your family who has struggled with addiction, and you want to highlight how that experience affected the way you pictured the narrator and Sonny, that’s fine. On the other hand, you could just talk about your emotions as a reader when you read particular scenes, or maybe discuss how certain elements of the story made you think about current events, or about your own relatives, or your job. The point is to answer to question about Baldwin’s theme of suffering/art, but to do so from an engaged, personal perspective that you bring to the story as its reader.

At the same time, don’t get lost and caught up in your own thoughts and emotions. You need to support your interpretation of the story by using direct, specific evidence from the story to back you up.