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English 101LaToya Peoples Sonnys Blues Recurring theme of Good vs Evil Throughout James Baldwins story Sonnys Blues the neighborhood of Harlem is in a constant battle between good and evil The narrator describes Sonnys encounters with evil manifested in drugs and crime as well as his assertive attempts at distancing himself from the darker side The streets of Harlem are described as a harsh environment which claims the lives of many who have struggled against the constant enticement of emotional escape through drugs and financial escape through crime Sonny and his family along with the citizens of Harlem join the society fighting a war against evil at the personal level We are introduced to Sonnys weapon against the pressures of life Jazz Baldwin presents jazz as a two-edged sword making a him capable of expressing emotions like nothing else but also presenting the danger of the lifestyle it promotes Throughout the story the reader follows Sonnys past and present brushes with evil his triumphs and his defeats In Sonnys Blues Baldwin uses metaphorical references to focus on the perpetual war between good and evil Baldwin emphasizes the quickness at which Harlem residents fall to the pull of evil Children are described as often turning hard or evil or disrespectful the way kids can so quick so quick especially in Harlem Baldwin 558 These children can be compared to soldiers in a war 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 Baldwin 558 The students are at risk for the same fate which befell Sonnys uncle The hit-and-run incident which killed him was one of the expected casualties of the war unfolding around Sonny Everyone knows an individual could fall at any given moment but the hardships are not openly spoken of Therein lays
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