Also, Sonny is suffering inside. The narrator asks him directly, “…there’s no way not to suffer-is there, Sonny?”
“I believe not” he said (582). In order to cope with these issues Sonny does what he only know how and turns to drugs for a distraction.
Emotionally, Sonny feels isolated with no family support. In a letter to his brother he writes from prison, Sonny opens with, “You don’t know how much I needed to hear from you” (568). This expresses the longing that he has for contact in any form and much needed support structure. Sonny turns to music as a means of escape from these issues as well, “Sonny was at that piano playing for his life,” and “that music, which was life or death to him” (578).