Sonny's Blues Rhetorical Analysis

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Pages: 2

James Baldwin in Sonny’s Blues often uses flashbacks to advance the story, furnish background information, and to define the personalities of particular characters and what drives them throughout the story.

James Baldwin envelopes a story about two brothers with flashbacks. Through the use of flashbacks, the reader is invited to learn more about the main characters, Sonny and his brother, the narrator. As a result of this technique, Sonny grows from dope fiend to a brother with problems and feelings. In fact, leaving out all flashbacks renders the narrator a rather callous brother. Ultimately, the story would have no flavor and would become uninteresting to the reader.

Sonny's story begins with his incarceration. The narrator feels