Sonny's Blues Analysis

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The two different short stories titled respectively "Sonny's Blues" and "This Is What it Means to Say Pheonix, Arizona" maintain several similarities throughout their particular lengths. Both observant tales of changing times and cultures, the novellas incorporate themes of brotherhood, loss, and the rekindling of relationships. Due to the resemblance between the themes and atmospheres of the two stories, an analyzation is necessary to draw assessments associating these particular tales. One of the first ways in which we can draw comparisons between the two stories can be found within the cultural differences and stereotypes that are reinforced throughout their constraints. For instance, within "Sonny's Blues", the plaguing characteristics…show more content…
"Sonny's Blues" shows a wide range of these typecasts founded upon the African-American race. For example, several characters throughout the tale become addicted to the deadly drug known as heroin. This was a problem that actually plagued the African-American community during the aforesaid period in time, and caused much of the decay that was described throughout their corresponding societies. It's a highly addictive drug that causes the mentality and physicality of the user to dwindle at a dangerously high rate, and its widespread availability made it easy to obtain. With nowhere to turn, many African-American males found themselves "shooting up" in order to face the several oppressions that faced them on an everyday basis. Obviously, Sonny and several of his cronies fell into this category, thereby reinforcing the tendencies that had befallen this group of individuals during this specific period in time. The narrator put it best, even though it was in a depressing manner, when he stated that "Yet it had happened and here I was, talking about algebra to a lot of boys who might, every one 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 could." On the other hand, "This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona" focuses on the Native American category of subjugation. Throughout…show more content…
Both stories have several similarities that span over decades and different locations, and the usage of harmful vices is a constant in both tales. The themes and atmospheres of both tales are decidedly dark, but there is some bright sides as well. An excellent portrayal of this is a quote from Sonny's Blues, which states that "He had made it his: that long line of which we knew only Mama and Daddy. . . . I saw my mother's face again . . . I saw the moonlit road where my father's brother died. And it brought something else back to me, and carried me past it, I saw my little girl again and felt Isabel's tears again, and I felt my own tears begin to rise." after hearing Sonny's music near the end of the story. It shows that, within both stories, familial and cultural ties run very deep, and the connections passed down to each generation are perpetually

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