The Changes In The Narrator's View Of Sonny

Can one know another's thoughts? Through dialogue, actions, and events, the
thoughts and views of a man of whom we know not even a name are shown. The man
is the narrator of "Sonny's Blues" and his thoughts we are shown are those
directed towards his brother. Over the course of the story, there are three
major stages or phases that the narrator goes through, in which his thoughts
about his brother change. We see that those stages of thought vary greatly over
the narrator's life, from confusion about his brother to understanding. Each
phase brings different views of his own responsibility toward his brother, his
brother's manhood, and his brother's sense of reality.

Through out the story, ...

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a future or career.
"He still wasn't a man yet, he was still a child, and they had to watch out for
him in all kinds of ways."(51) The narrator decided that he would plan Sonny's
future and when Sonny rebelled, the narrator saw it as yet another childish

Another way in which the narrator's overall view changed was his view on whether
Sonny's idea of reality was sound. Still in the first phase, the narrator often
presents his view of reality and when Sonny rejects it, the narrator feels Sonny
is being unreasonable. For instance, "'Well Sonny,' I said, gently, "you know
people can't always do exactly what they want to do-' 'No I don't think that,'
said Sonny, surprising me."(49) Actually, Sonny understood life much more
clearly than the narrator, but the narrator did not realize that then. He
thought that perhaps Sonny was just too young or too high on drugs to understand
what life was about.

Finally, the third view changed was the narrator's responsibility towards ...

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still viewed Sonny as if he
were on drugs. "He carried himself, loose and dreamlike all the time, ...and his
music seemed to be merely an excuse for the life he led. It sounded just that
weird and disordered."(52) He thought that Sonny had been driven even farther
from reality than before. He thought that Sonny's view of reality was so
distorted that he might as well have been dead. Unlike his views on Sonny's
sanity, when his views on Sonny's manhood changed so he thought, did his
responsibility toward Sonny. He began fighting regularly with Sonny, "Then
[Sonny] stood up and he told me not to worry about him anymore in life, that as
he was dead as far as I was concerned."(52) During this ...

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The Changes In The Narrator's View Of Sonny. (2008, February 20). Retrieved March 31, 2020, from
"The Changes In The Narrator's View Of Sonny.", 20 Feb. 2008. Web. 31 Mar. 2020. <>
"The Changes In The Narrator's View Of Sonny." February 20, 2008. Accessed March 31, 2020.
"The Changes In The Narrator's View Of Sonny." February 20, 2008. Accessed March 31, 2020.
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Added: 2/20/2008 11:21:47 PM
Category: Book Reports
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1298
Pages: 5

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