Compare and Contrast Goodbye My Brother and Sonny’s Blues
Compare and Contrast Goodbye My Brother and Sonny’s Blues

Compare and Contrast Goodbye My Brother and Sonny’s Blues

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  • Pages: 4 (1919 words)
  • Published: October 18, 2017
  • Type: Analysis
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No narrative can be every bit touching as household relationships and rapprochement and when it comes to household. two of the most celebrated narratives about brothers are Sonny’s Blues and Goodbye My Brother. Goodbye My Brother is said to be one of John Cheever’s greatest literary success while Sonny’s Blues garnered widespread critical claim for James Baldwin. It is interesting to observe that by comparing and contrasting the two. there are a batch of dramatic lessons about what to make and what non to make when it comes to covering with household relationships can be learned from these narratives.

John Cheever’s Goodbye My Brother is a narrative that centres around the Pommeroy household. The household is composed of the widow female parent. Mrs. Pommeroy. and her four kids named Diana. Chaddy. Lawrence and the one narrating the narrative. All of the kids are grown up and are all populating their separate lives and this reunion in specific was a particular one because they have non seen Lawrence in four old ages. Diana is divorced and is populating in France. Chaddy is a successful man of affairs who lives in New York. Lawrence the youngest is a attorney and the storyteller teaches the secondary school.

The Pommeroys can be considered as an upper category household who got together in Laud’s Head in New England for a household reunion at their old beach house. The storyteller openly talked about the siblings general disfavor for Lawrence and despite the attempts of their female parent. he refused to make out and be


a portion of their household. This evident tenseness between Lawrence and their female parent has a history. Lawrence was merely 16 old ages old when he said said that Mother was excessively strong. arch and destructive. He was in get oning school back so and he did non come place for Christmas. after which. he rarely comes place.

Everything seems to be traveling as expected until the nameless storyteller brother beats his brother Lawrence who seemed distance since the beginning of the narrative. ( Cheever. p. 1-10 ) . This melodramatic narrative was one of the earliest narratives written by Cheever who has been compared with Dante because he perceives God as a mystical being. As a author he gives accent to the glow of the Earth and it can be competently observed that many paragraphs from his plants barely pass without him raising the brightness of the universe. This mystical impression is the ground why many people think that Cheever does non pay attending on God.

Goodbye My Brother has a really unexpectedly unusual stoping. The narrative ends with Helen and Diane walking like bare goddesses out of the sea and as such. it is safe to state that the rubric is inconsistent with the stoping ( Wood. p. 1163 ) . However. other observers who read this narrative appreciated the powerful linguistic communication used by Cheever in the stoping. Harmonizing to them. the stoping illustrated the acquaintance of the writer with King James and Shakespeare ( Boyle. p. 1 ) . In general. the command of the writer in integrating symbolism through his work

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can be best appreciated in this stoping.

It can be noticed that Cheever uses H2O as a chief symbolic component that clearly demonstrates how the wane and flow of the ocean Waterss can be related to men’s being. The storyteller described the household acquire together as warm and stamp which is in clear contrast with the aggravation that Lawrence is experiencing with his household. This narrative gives the readers an exercising of their point of position as they observe the dramatic contrast between the optimism and the pessimism of human nature in the personality of the two brothers. the sunny and prejudicial nameless storyteller and his saturnine youngest brother Lawrence.

On the other manus. Sonny’s Blues by James Baldwin is another chef-d'oeuvre that the readers love to read about two brothers and since the narrative of Goodbye My Brother is besides approximately brotherly relationships. most readers can happen that a mixture of the two relationships can give them a glance of what it would be like if they were to collaborate with each other or allow pride and hatred get in the manner of household. Sonny’s Blues is a narrative of how two African American brothers react to the “blues” of each other and how they handle their interior struggles.

The feelings experienced by the chief characters is called “blues” . which is a mental and emotional province that arose from the acknowledgment of the restriction imposed largely in the instance of African Americans by the racial barriers to the chances that they frequently encounter. The storyteller. who makes his life as a school instructor and his brother who is a wind piano player make their manner into the universe fighting to understand the other party ( Flibbert. p. 32 ) . The narrator’s foremost inherent aptitude was to believe the narrative in the newspaper. It said that his brother was arrested for covering with diacetylmorphine and for him. it was non really difficult to believe.

He started experiencing scared for Sonny and it is here that the storyteller has started to associate the fright that he has lived with his whole life. Small did he cognize that this event will function as a accelerator for their intimacy. While still in daze. the storyteller was forced to face their yesteryear. When a friend of the storyteller went to his school to convey his the intelligence about Sonny. he said that he suddenly hated him. ( Baldwin. p. 2 ) . However. as the storyteller continues to show his sentiments. he realizes that he feels a small spot guilty for non listening to him before.

The friend goes on to speak about the effects of heroine in the organic structure and as the conversation goes on. a concealed attention for his brother can be sensed from the storyteller. He even sent a missive to Sonny and this correspondence continues until Sonny returned to New York. This narrative has several flashbacks that contribute to the readers’ comprehension of the history of the distance of the two brothers and how they both overcome that distance small by small. In the last scene of the narrative. the storyteller found

himself in a wind nine where his brother plants and so he understood that this was so what Sonny’s universe looks like.

This is where the two brothers were eventually reunited by music as the storyteller listens to his Sonny and his friends. The usual experience of agony is one of the things that makes work forces associate to each other and by denying these feelings. the storyteller has denied himself a topographic point among his community and friends. This last scene illustrates how the storyteller took one more measure into detecting his brother and how through his ain agony and Sonny’s illustration. he found himself in the brotherhood and company of work forces ( Murray p. 197 ) .

The common subject of Goodbye My Brother and Sonny’s Blues is household relationships. What makes these narrative appealing and existent is the astonishing penetration that John Cheever and James Baldwin have on familial relationships. These two writers were able to successfully research the impression of individuality and societal context in the narratives and the readers feel a more personal connexion with the character because they were told from a first person’s point of position. James Baldwin’s Sonny’s Blues opens when the storyteller found out through a newspaper that his brother was arrested for diacetylmorphine dealing.

Interestingly. the two narratives involve two brothers but in contrast. Sonny Blues negotiations about how the two brothers were able to understand each other and Goodbye My Brother negotiations about the misinterpretation and refusal to make out between two brothers. The dramatic contrast can be seen at the stoping of the two narratives. Goodbye My Brother ends with the bathing of Helen and Dianne at sea. After the battle of the nameless storyteller and Lawrence. nil was said about them doing damagess and things were left the manner they were.

On the other manus. Sonny’s Blues ends really good. At first. the two brothers here were distant like the brothers in Goodbye My Brother but over clip. they have come to understand each other. Get downing from the minute of Sonny’s apprehension. the two brothers are acquiring closer and closer and in the terminal of the narrative. Sonny declared the storyteller as his brother for the really first clip ( Baldwin. p. 23 ) . Unlike here in Sonny’s Blues. the brother in Goodbye My Brother both lack the willingness to make out and do an attempt to repair their relationship and understand each other.

Some critics mentioned that the stoping of Goodbye My Brother displayed the author’s acquaintance with the King James version and that of Shakespeare’s plants ( Boyle. p. 1 ) . In the same manner. Sonny’s Blues besides depicts Baldwin’s scriptural sense. These two narratives both use symbolism which makes the narrative deeply interesting to the readers. The storyteller Baldwin’s narrative can be likened to the character of Cain. In Genesis. after Cain kills his brother Abel. God asks Cain about his brother and he answered by stating that he is non his brother’s keeper.

The concluding conversation between the storyteller and his female parent sends a message to the readers that their female parent wants him.

to be his brother’s keeper but the storyteller failed in making his responsibility and this failure was made clear in the gap lune of the narrative. The narrator’s act of trusting on the newspaper to cognize the whereabouts of his brother is non a mark of maintaining his promise to his female parent that he will take attention of Sonny. As a affair of fact. Sonny did non even phone him after the apprehension was made and this lone shows the distance between them in the start of the narrative ( Tackach. P.

4 ) . Last. both narratives carry a societal message that many people today will happen applicable. In Goodbye My Brother. the refusal of the brothers to repair their broken relationship was the primary factor that led to the violent stoping of their relationship and as the rubric implies. the brothers are ready to cut their bond to each other while in contrast. it is the willingness of Sonny and his brother that led to the harmonious rapprochement of their relationship.

Happy stoping or non. many people learned what life is like for those who harden their Black Marias and for those who open them for it is in the shared strength of enduring that darkness is pierced and a new beam of hope is born. Works Cited Baldwin. James. Sonny’s Blues in Vintage Baldwin. New York: Vintage. 2004. Print. Boyle. T. “On Learning to Appreciate John Cheever’s Stories” . NPR. org. NPR. 2006. Web. 2010. & lt ; hypertext transfer protocol: //www. npr. org/templates/story/story. php? storyId=5652619 & gt ; . Cheever. John. The Stories of John Cheever. New York: Random House. Inc.

1978. Print. Flibbert. Joseph. Sonny’s Bluess: Overview in Reference Guide to Short Fiction. United states: St. James Press. 1994. Print. Murray. Donald. James Baldwin’s Sonny’s Blues: Complicated and Simple. New york: Newberry College. 1977. Print. Tackach. James. “Biblical Foundation of James Baldwin’s “Sonny’s Blues” . BNET. 2007. Web. 20 May 2010. & lt ; hypertext transfer protocol: //findarticles. com/p/articles/mi_qa3777/is_200701/ai_n19197653/pg_4/ & gt ; Wood. Ralph. The Modest and Charitable Humanitarianism of John Cheever. Christian Century. USA: Christian Century Foundation. 1982. Print.