in what way does this scene show one of the central ideas of james baldwins essay
The scene shows how hatred can consume a person
The scene shows how people hold on to hatred and let it overshadow everything. Apex
Baldwin also sees a color consciousness in the casting that he does not fail to point out. For instance, there is Dorothy Dandridge, “a sort of taffy-colored girl,” who is supposed to signify a ” very nice girl.” Pearl Bailey, in contrast, is “quite dark” and is cast as a “floozie.” Likewise, the man who has evil designs on Carmen is also very dark-skinned, whereas Harry Belafonte, also light-skinned, comes across as safe and sexless. The light-skinned actors seek love, whereas the dark-skinned actors live in some other world, Baldwin writes.
Henry A. Wallace (1888-1965), vice president under F. D. Roosevelt and a prominent leader of the Progressive Party, was criticized for his social idealism and lax attitude toward communism. For these reasons, he lost favor with the Democratic Party and joined the Progressives. In general, the Progressive Party was against international military activity but supported peace discussions with the Soviet Union, the development of a strong United Nations organization, and civil rights. Wallace also spoke out against Senator Joseph McCarthy, the leading voice in the House Committee on Un-American Activities.
“Sonny’s Blues”, written by James Baldwin, was first published in 1957 in Partisan Review and was later published again by Baldwin in a collection of short stories called Going to Meet the Man. (Reilly 56) “Sonny’s Blues” is the story of two brothers, one an Algebra teacher in Harlem and the other a jazz musician turned heroin addict and drug dealer, both suffering from the inequalities faced by African Americans before and during the Civil Rights Movement. The story does not begin with background information, but instead begins with the narrator discovering his brother’s arrest for heroin usage and drug dealing while on his way to his average job as a school teacher. It is necessary to not only analyze the relationship between the brothers and Sonny’s drug use, but also the historical setting of the story in order to understand James Baldwin’s “Sonny’s Blues.” The historical context, relationships among characters, and the questionable choices made by Sonny combine to shape James Baldwin’s short story “Sonny’s Blues.”
When evaluating the text from an ethical aspect, it is important to look at the moral values of the characters and the implications of their actions. John Reilly points out in his article “Sonny’s Blues”: James Baldwin’s Image of the Black Community” that a prominent theme throughout many of Baldwin’s works is the discovery of identity, and there is no story that this is presented more successfully than in the story “Sonny’s Blues” where both the narrator and his brother, Sonny, both discover not only more about themselves but also each other through the cycle of their lives. (Reilly 59) The most prominent poor decision and questionable moral action of Sonny throughout the text is his drug usage. He does not only suffer the consequences of being a drug addict on the streets, but also must serve jail time in which he tells his brother he would rather “blow my brains out than go through this again.” (Baldwin 127) It is, however, a result of his time served that he is able to return into society without a drug addiction and reunite with his estranged brother after years of having a strained relationship.