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Sonny's Blues

Sonny's Blues


by James Baldwin

Sonny's Blues The Home Quotes

How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Paragraph)

Quote #1

But houses exactly like the houses of our past yet dominated the landscape, boys exactly like the boys we once had been found themselves smothering in these houses, came down into the streets for light and air and found themselves encircled by disaster. (72)

Home isn't always the comforting place we'd like it to be. Sometimes it feels claustrophobic, like a prison.

Quote #2

Yet, as the cab moved uptown through streets which seemed, with a rush, to darken with dark people, and as I covertly studied Sonny's face, it came to me that what we both were seeking through our separate cab windows was the part of ourselves which had been left behind. (72)

Is it ever really possible to leave "home" behind?  Although he and Sonny are now grown men, the narrator realizes that they're each trying to find the piece of themselves that will always remain "home," no matter where they go or how old they get. 

Quote #3

And I'd known this avenue all my life, but it seemed to me again, as it had on the day I'd first heard about Sonny's trouble, filled with a hidden menace which was its very breath of life. (73)

The familiarity of home can quickly turn to a sense of danger and destruction.  This "home" is precisely what Sonny tries to escape with drugs, and even though it's a place he and the narrator know well, there seems to be an unknown danger lurking around every corner.

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