The age difference between Sonny and his older brother is crucial because the narrator initially has difficulty understanding the aspirations and weaknesses of his sibling. (And the parable of the prodigal son and the biblical refrain of "my brother's keeper" should resonate for many readers of this text.) The narrator is a high school algebra teacher, a home owner, and a family man, whereas Sonny drifts from place to place—at one time living with his brother, at another time staying with a white woman in Greenwich Village. Despite the significant differences between the two men,...
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