There are many conflicts in this story, both external and internal. A few of the internal ones are in Sonny and his brother, the narrator. Sonny's internal conflict is about his battle with drugs and his creativity. He seems to believe, rightfully or not, that he cannot be musically productive without the drugs. One of the narrator's internal conflicts is his love for and his distaste for his brother. There is, of course, an external conflict between the narrator and Sonny, each of whom has chosen very different paths in life. There are also societal conflicts, which are those between the two different races. There is a constant use of lightness and darkness, throughout the story, which symbolizes these conflicts.