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Word Count: 1,283
Sonnys Blues written by James Baldwin is a story that deals with very real aspects of society and is done so through the use of symbolism and imagery The story is craftfully written using lightness and darkness as symbols through out the entire story Baldwin focuses Sonnys Blues on the character of Sonny who is continuously struggling to find what makes him happy Ultimately Sonny finds two escapes one of them being fatal drug abuse and music Baldwin opens the story at the school where Sonnys older brother the speaker works as a teacher He reflects on what happened to his brother as he watches the boys in the schoolyard here I was talking about algebra to a lot of boys who might everyone of them for all I knew be popping off needles every time they went to the head Maybe it did more for them than algebra couldThese boys now were living as wed been living then they were growing up with a rush and their heads bumped abruptly against the low ceiling of their actual possibilities They were filled with rage All they really knew were two darknesses the darkness of their lives which was now closing in on them and the darkness of the movies which had blinded them to that other darkness and in which they now vindictively dreamed at once more together than they were at any other time and more alone Baldwin 110 This quote describes not only how unaware the speaker felt about the youth abusing drugs but also describes their lives using the term darkness Darkness symbolizes all of the hardships that the boys are faced with which is masked by the movies and media making life look easy The term darkness plainly has a negative connotation and gives the reader a sense that this word symbolizes something depressing or troubling Through out the entire story the terms lightness and darkness are used as symbols
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