Sonny's Blues Questions and Answers
by James Baldwin

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What parts of "Sonny Blues" correspond to the plot stages of a traditionally told story?

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In James Baldwin's "Sonny's Blues" there are flashbacks which provide information for the reader to understand the main conflicts between the narrator and Sonny as well as the conflicts within Sonny.  However, the story opens with the traditional exposition in which the main characters are introduced and the "discriminated occasion," or problem is presented:  Sonny's addition to heroin.

However, the development of Sonny's problems does not develop in traditional fashion as it is part of the flashbacks. Likewise, the rising action of the conflict for the narrator comes in the flashback as he recalls what his mother has said to him...

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