Symbolization in Sonny's Blues Short Story

Name: Rani Widi Noortatik

Student IDENTIFICATION: 1003146

Sonny's Blues Symbolizations

Sonny's Doldrums is a famous short story written by James Baldwin. The story tells about the brotherhood between a couple of black-men littermates – an elder sibling and his younger brother called Sonny. Sonny wanted to be considered a musician but his close friend disagreed with him, the conflicts together and his unableness to reach his dream to be a musician led Sonny to start out using heroin. In Sonny's Blues, there are plenty of symbolizations utilized which can be recognized, some of them are the name of the speaker's little girl –Grace, scotch and dairy, and the term ‘cup of trembling'. All of them has a seriously deep meaning although the profound meaning itself can not be viewed explicitly by the readers. Style, the child of the presenter (Sonny's elder brother), was told being death because of Polio. The phrase Grace by itself means forgiveness, repentance, revitalization, and solution, mean a thing as wide as describing the whole of God's activity toward guy or while narrow since describing one segment of this activity. An exact, common description describes elegance as the unmerited benefit of The almighty toward guy (Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology, 2012). In the story, this symbolization created the idea that Sonny's freedom was paid by death of grace. It may also indicates that Sonny's sins were forgiven simply by god through the ‘sacrifice' of Grace's soul.

In the tale, there is a line stated,

" There was a lengthy pause, when they discussed up there in the indigo light along with awhile I could see the girl place a Scotch and milk on top of the piano to get Sonny. ”

In a comment written by Keith Byreman in " Words and Music: Story Ambiguity in 'Sonny's Blues. '", he stated the fact that Scotch and milk beverage is " an emblem of simultaneous destruction and nurture to the system; this cannot be lowered to one or the other. Sonny's acceptance of it indicates that he will continue on the edge between the poison of his...


1 . Class Spiel on Sonny's Blues, 2012 [online] offered by:


2 . Sonny's Doldrums by James Baldwin, 2012 [online] available at:




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