2. Obviously, a lot of things have happened to affect the relationship between the narrator and Sonny. Why do you think the narrator seems to care about him now?

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The narrator begins to realize that Sonny's problems and his "blues" are shared, because suffering is part of the human condition.

While he rides on the subway, the narrator reads about Sonny in the newspaper, and he comments that he sees his brother's suffering "in my own face, trapped in the darkness which roared outside." It is then, too, that the narrator observes that his brother Sonny, "became real to me again."

It is especially after his little girl dies that the narrator, now understanding suffering, writes to his brother Sonny.  In response to his letter, Sonny tells him how much he has needed to hear from him. For, the suffering of Sonny is such that he needs the understanding of one who has also left something of himself behind in the neighborhood of their childhood. The narrator observes,

It's always at the hour of trouble and confrontation that the missing member aches.

The brother of Sonny realizes that their familial relationship ties them together; furthermore, their lives are tied together also as two parts of the African-American experience. For, they have each fought the "darkness outside" the safety of their home, although in different ways. Evidently, the narrator has been the stronger son as he recalls his mother's asking him to care for Sonny.

After he reunites with Sonny, the narrator comes to realize that Sonny suffers from the chaos in life because he is a very sensitive man. While he has used heroin to lessen his suffering, Sonny must now find another, safer outlet. He returns to his piano and music. So, after he and his brother reunite, the brother accompanies him to a club where Sonny plays the blues one night. There, because Sonny's music is an authentic response to the chaos of life, the brother, who sits in the shadows apprehends that

Freedom lurked around us and I understood at last that he could help us to be free if we would listen, that he would never would be free until we did.

By caring about Sonny, the brother and Sonny both attain meaning and freedom the darkness in their lives.



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