In "Sonny's Blues" how does the order in which events are related later in the story affect your experience of reading it and interpreting its meaning?

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teachertaylor | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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Baldwin intends for the reader to experience Sonny's troubles, the narrator's struggles to understand his brother, and the moment in which the two brothers come together.  The attached link on writing style suggests that the end of the story provides a catharsis in which Sonny is relieved from the pressure of his life by playing his music.  The narrator has decided to go see Sonny play, so he is there to witness this release.  We, the reading audience, are also "there" watching the event unfold, and therefore, we are part of Sonny's catharsis.  The story moves around in time, and sometimes readers might feel lost in the time shifts.  This is symbolic of the trouble that has plagued Sonny's life and of the difficulty that the narrator has had trying to understand the choices that his brother has made in life.  But these events come together in the end when the narrator understands how music has shaped--and saved--his brother's life.