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Word Count: 550
How do sonny his brother try to escape the past Is sonnys brother able to accept the past Sonnys Blues Learning To Accept The Past What is the past Websters Dictionary defines the past as a persons history or background The experiences of the past help make people who they are It is the sorrows and joys the losses and the victories of the past that shape and mold people into what they become The past can affect someone for the rest of his life James Baldwins story Sonnys Blues is a story about two brothers who grew up in the ghetto of Harlem As adults they both try to find themselves and escape their past in Harlem Sonnys brother tries making a better life for himself He uses his family and his success as a schoolteacher as a way of overcoming his childhood On the other hand Sonny uses his drug addiction and his love of music as means of escape from the past The idea of the story is that no matter how hard they try to escape the past they will never be able to The past is a part of them and until they learn to accept that fact they will never truly know how it feels to be free One of the most important messages in this story is the description of Harlems stultifying environment a place where children are smothered Some escaped the trap most didnt Those who got out always left something of themselves behind as animals amputate a leg and leave it in the trap Baldwin p109 The implicit assumption here is that childhood is a holistic state whereas the process of growing older maims the individual Perspectives on James Baldwin Approaches to Reading and Teaching Sonnys Blues Throughout the story Sonnys brother unknowingly returns to the past for comfort One example of this is when his daughter Grace dies He grasps for the one
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