In Baldwin's "Sonny's Blues," what are the images of light and darkness, especially effects of characters' dark skin on the white world?
Most significantly, the images of darkness and light contain the symbolic meaning of the environment in which Sonny and the narrator have grown up. For instance, in one flashback, the narrator recalls how the parents sat in the evening as the darness grows, as "every face looks darkening" and the "child moves a little closer to the darkness outside." In another instance of flashback, the narrator recalls how the young boys live in two darknesses:
The darkness of their lives, which was now closing in on them, and the darness of the movies, which had blinded them to that other darkness...
That other darkness is what Sonny lives in and feels--the darkness of drugs, and the "storm" that lies within him which he can only get out by playing the blues, and playing to those who truly listen. The narrator finally understands Sonny as he sits in the dark corner of the nightclub:
For, while the tale of how we suffer, and how we are delighted, and how we may triumph is never new, it always...
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