Sonny's Blues Questions and Answers
by James Baldwin

Sonny's Blues book cover
Start Your Free Trial

What does Baldwin achieve by beginning "Sonny's Blues" as he does?

Expert Answers info

accessteacher eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write13,728 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

A good way to consider why authors begin their texts the way they do is to compare and contrast the ending. Let us remember that this excellent story opens with the discovery of the narrator concerning his brother's arrest for drug possession and selling heroin. Key to note, however, is the way that this discovery makes the narrator feel trapped and surrounded by darkness:

I read about it in the paper, in the subway, on my way to work. I read it, and I couldn't believe it, and I read it again. Then perhaps I just stared at it, at the newsprint spelling out his name, spelling out the story. I stared at it in the swinging lights of the...

(The entire section contains 363 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

check Approved by eNotes Editorial