by James Baldwin
Sonny's Blues Family Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Paragraph)
I'm glad Mama and Daddy are dead and can't see what's happened to their son. (50)
Sometimes it's better not to have family around than to have to live with the guilt of hurting or disappointing them. This guilt is one thing Sonny couldn't handle.
I was remembering, and it made it hard to catch my breath, that I had been there when he was born; and I had heard the first words he had ever spoken. When he started to walk, he walked from our mother straight to me. I caught him just before he fell when he took the first steps he ever took in this world. (57)
The bonds between Sonny and his brother are intense. In many ways, the narrator is like another parent to Sonny. Because he's family, he's there to catch Sonny when he stumbles (just like he did when they were kids).
He and Sonny hadn't ever got on too well. And this was partly because Sonny was the apple of his father's eye. It was because he loved Sonny so much and was frightened for him, that he was always fighting for him. (79)
Family relationships can be complicated, especially between parents and their kids. Can a parent love his child so much that it's paralyzing? Sonny's father loves him so deeply that he's scared for him, and this fear taints their entire relationship.