Symbols other than the music are also found in the story. Sonny's self-destructive tendencies, shown by his drug use, represent the entire generation of young black men during this time who were aimlessly wandering through life filled with rage.
Another symbol is found when Sonny and his brother rediscover their love for one another. This symbolizes the need we have as human beings to reconnect with others in order to establish unity and a sense of community. It is difficult to find that unity in Harlem since it is the battleground between good and evil.
Water, in the form of sweat and ice, also becomes a symbol. Sonny gets addicted to heroin because he's unable to express the rage and pain he feels inside. He feels cold inside. At the end of his performance, Sonny is soaking wet with sweat because he's been able to finally express his pain.
Sonny's brother, the narrator, describes how he feels when he finds out Sonny has been arrested for the possession and sale of heroin.
"I was scared,...
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