Sonny’s Blues Argumentative Essay Example
Sonny’s Blues Argumentative Essay Example

Sonny’s Blues Argumentative Essay Example

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  • Pages: 5 (1243 words)
  • Published: December 24, 2017
  • Type: Essay
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With their idealistic storylines and faultless protagonists, fairytales have always had a certain effect on a reader. These fantasies have a way of pulling a reader out of reality, and disconnecting them from true-to-life outcomes. Unlike real life, fairytales never fail to provide a happy ending. For example, as Fay Weldon accurately puts it, "Mere fortunate events-a marriage or a last minute rescue from death. " Weldon further argues that writers who build a possibly imperfect 'happy ending' through a process that those not wearing crowns or riding white stallions could relate to, receive better reactions from their readers.

This 'moral development' adds realism to the story and builds engaging emotions with the possibility of an undesirable ending, and the hope that all will turn out well. Readers create a stronger connection to a story when they a


re believable, and are able to identify with the plot and the characters. In the short story, "Sonny's Blues," by James Baldwin, the author provides an organic moral development that is evident in Sonny. Personally, I agree with Fay Weldon's arguments.

As a reader, I felt connected to this story because it is relatable, realistic, and inspirational. I connected to and understood these imperfect characters and situations, who although fictional, lived and felt in a world that is real. Personally, I find that when characters experience events and moments that play out authentically, I am able to connect with them. Recognizing raw and honest elements in the characters I read about allow me to share in their grief, as well as celebrate in their accomplishments.

When the journey of the characters results in something positive, I am usually at peace an

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enlightened about the path they have taken because the happy ending feels human and attainable. For example, although many things remained uncertain in the outcome of Sonny's Blues, the story ended with Sonny sharing his music - his passion - to ears that finally understood and appreciated what he was giving. He did not have a miraculous epiphany about living a drug free lifestyle, nor did he finally find his way down a path of the kind of success everyone else had been wishing for him.

In simply learning to try the best he could, to share the gifts he had and to hope that he would find people who thought that was enough, I believe he found a happy ending. A reoccurring theme in the story was that, "there was no way not to suffer," as it is only natural (373). I related to Sonny's unconventional journey, because it was imperfect and real. He did not receive divine healing, but neither did he completely fall to pieces - he just lived his life the best he could, and found his own way.

As a child, I was used to hearing fairy tales with idealistic scenarios, which, as I grew older, became less relevant and applicable to my own life. As I learnt the hard way that there was not always going to be a fairy godmother to pull me out of my problems or a magic slipper that would guarantee true love, these endings lost their enchantment over me. I believe that readers easily and quickly identify the differences between realistic and idealistic situations, and approach them respectively in different ways.

An idealistic ending typically concludes a

simple, flat read that needs no analyzing or builds no deep connection to the characters. However, a realistic ending usually comes as the result of a tumultuous story that has a reader uncertain and hoping for the happy ending that may or may not come (unlike the idealistic story, where it is already guaranteed). Sonny explains to his brother that he has steered away from the path he was once travelled involving his drug abuse, but reminds him, "it can come again" (375).

In a perfect world, like the ones outlined in the tales of our childhood, Sonny's healing would have been a dramatic and promising epiphany, followed by a vow never to turn back to drugs again. However, as many of us know, drug addiction is a battle that can continue on for a lifetime. Sonny's admittance to the possibility of a relapse is a bitter one, but relatable to many recovering addicts. He could only promise always to remember his wish for a better life first, before he wished for his high.

His concluding thoughts offer bittersweet realism, which is nonexistent in the idealistic outlines of fairytales. When a story begins to feel real and substantial to a reader, it tends to offer insight into their own world and the relationships them. When I am able to identify with the struggles and emotions that a character is going through and think back to a time where I experienced the same, the story begins to become almost a reflection of myself. When the story comes to a positive end, it can be very uplifting and significant.

Experiencing hardships and pain in life can not only make one

appreciate the true meaning of a happy ending, but also learn that it is often different than what we may have expected. In Sonny's Blues, the ending seems to convey a very real and relevant moral: Everyone has their own path in life, and they must travel it in their own way. Sonny had people in his life (such as his brother) who were trying to pull him out of his destructive lifestyle by pushing him to fit the mould of success that they had created for him.

However, the only time Sonny's brother was able to look beyond his whole broken past and truly 'see' him, was when he had let go of all his expectations and allowed him to simply, be. The narrator recognizes that when he watched his brother playing at the club, he had entered "Sonny's world. Or rather: his kingdom" (378). It was inspirational to experience a moment where someone Sonny loved finally opened his eyes enough to see something beautiful come of someone the world had deemed as insignificant. "Sonny's Blues" tells the story of a recovering addict who desperately struggles to get his life back on track.

It's not exactly what fairy tales are made of, but it came with a happy ending of its own. As Fay Weldon guessed it, the positive outcome was not the result of, 'mere fortunate events,' but in a moment of understanding and insight. In this story and in this life, we learn the hard truth that 'Cinderella' did not teach us - that everything does not always turn out okay. Sonny's gains were truly valued in relevance to his hardships, and for a

reader like myself who lives in the same world he does, I believe he did alright.

I related to a character who found his path through walking it his own way. His truth and his honesty through his imperfect life made the story raw and realistic. Lastly, even without the dramatic gestures or epiphanies, a character overcame the odds in his own way - and I found that inspiring. In conclusion, Fay Weldon's argument of what type of happy endings affect readers the most rang true for me. To put it in my own words, a reader finds significance in a story that feels like it could almost be his own journey and his own life - and, as we all know, life is not always a fairy tale.

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