Comparing Notes To A Native Son And Sonny's Blues

Words: 1112
Pages: 5

Both short stories by James Baldwin start with the depiction of something very relevant and detrimental to him, in “Notes of a Native Son” it begins with death and birth while in “Sonny’s Blues” it begins with him reading about how his brother was thrown in jail for drugs. The narrator reacts differently to both and throughout the rest of either text he reflects on the events leading up to and then after those events, that were highlighted in the beginning, occur. Both of these stories reflect upon negative pressures from a wider society and how it is detrimental to the narrator and other key characters within the text. It also reflects how those negative pressures could result in dangers that are linked together. Nevertheless, there are aspects within the stories that help …show more content…
As a child James Baldwin’s father was incredibly resentful towards white people and the narrator couldn’t sympathize with his broken and stubborn father. His father mentions something of great importance to him, to at the narrator's fault, which was overlooked. The father subtly warns the narrator about white people and how close-minded and awful they are, “In that year I had had time to become aware of the meaning of all my father’s bitter warnings … I had discovered the weight of white people in the world.” James Baldwin discovers this in a few ways while in New Jersey through the hatred of his co-workers trying to get him fired, racial distancing, by the phrase at a few restaurants “we don’t serve negroes here”, and etc. These negative pressures build upon him leading him to become bitter, paralleled with his father, and eventually having murderous thoughts on a white waitress. However, he escapes these aspects of negative pressures was his realization that his life was on the line as well as his father’s death coped with his mother’s