I found the racial theme of "Sonny's Blues" to be interesting. How might I turn the theme into a thesis with substantial insight?

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Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In "Sonny's Blues," written about life in the 1950s, both brothers suffer terribly because of the outcast status of African Americans. Sonny's brother chooses to go the route of adapting to the white American vision of accomplishment and success, while Sonny chooses an opposing route. Both brothers continue to suffer. Sonny throws himself into jazz and blues music. In a Biblical allusion, his brother finally realizes that Sonny's music lets rise above the great suffering he has endured.

The most pressing point in the consideration of the suffering both brothers endure because of their race is that the suffering doesn't stop. Whether one goes against the demands of white culture or adoptions the vision of white culture, the suffering doesn't stop. It may change the direction from which it comes; it may change it's tone of voice; it may change the ostensible object being served, but it never stops. A thesis exploring this idea might assert something like when an entire race is outcast, efforts to assimilate and participate in higher aspects of life and society will inevitably be wrapped in the cloak of suffering.

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Sonny's Blues

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