Sonny's Blues Questions and Answers
by James Baldwin

Sonny's Blues book cover
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How does the narator of "Sonny’s Blue's" change and what brings about his change?

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After the narrator of "Sonny's Blues" loses his daughter to the effects of polio, his loss causes him to feel that he can better understand Sonny's troubles. Later, he gains a greater understanding of Sonny when he comes to live with the narrator, and he perceives how the sensitive and musical Sonny suffers in life.

Before the older brother/narrator left for war, he made arrangements for Sonny to live with his wife Isabel and her family. However, Sonny was an unrecognizable presence to this family.

Isabel finally confessed that it wasn't like living with a person at all, it was like living with sound. And the sound didn't make any sense to her . . . to any of them—naturally. . . . He moved in an atmosphere which wasn't like theirs at all. . . . it was as though he were wrapped up in . . . some vision all his own; and there wasn't any way to reach him.

Because Sonny was "loose and dreamlike all the time," he and his brother fought every time they saw each other. Finally, Sonny told his...

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