Sonny's Blues Setting & Symbolism

This Study Guide consists of approximately 21 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Sonny's Blues.
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Subway

The story begins with the narrator riding in the subway. The subway carries the bustle of the city, along with the narrator’s angst about his brother.

Heroin

Heroin is the weakness of Sonny and many others in Harlem. Sonny’s addiction to heroin is a central issue in “Sonny’s Blues.” Sonny believes heroin helps some people feel more in control, including musicians. And yet, heroin addiction prevents Sonny from playing his beloved jazz for over a year.

Harlem

Harlem is the gritty, hopeless part of New York where “Sonny’s Blues” takes place. Housing projects jut out of the streets like rocks in a boiling sea. Boys leave their smothering houses for light and air, only to find themselves encircled by disaster in Harlem. Sonny longs to escape Harlem, but his older brother chooses to live there and teach algebra in his neighborhood high school...

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This section contains 260 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the Sonny's Blues Study Guide
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Sonny's Blues from BookRags. (c)2016 BookRags, Inc. All rights reserved.
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