Sonny's Blues Questions and Answers
by James Baldwin

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What literary elements are used in "Sonny's Blues" including reference to connotative language?

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Literary elements are those basic components that form a literary narrative such as a short story or a novel. While there is no fixed, or standardized, list of these elements, the following are commonly referred to in discussions of literary works:

Action, Character, Conflict, Dialogue, Genre, Language, Mood, Narrative, Mode, Pace, Plot, Point of View, Setting, Style, Theme, and Tone 

Here is a discussion of a few of these elements: 

Interestingly, the action of the plot of "Sonny's Blues" is not linear. In order to interrupt the action, Baldwin makes use of several flashbacks (which are a technique) in order to develop his characterization of the two brothers as well as to present two sides of the African American experience [eNotes: "Introduction"]. Sonny has remained in the world of the projects (setting) in which the boys were born, while the brother/narrator has become educated and moved up economically. 

The use of flashback temporarily halts the present action, and Baldwin also...

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