© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Sonny's Blues

Sonny's Blues


by James Baldwin

Sonny's Blues Theme of The Home

The home is a physical place in "Sonny's Blues," but it's also an idea. It's a place to escape from, a place to return to, a place with both horrible and wonderful memories. Home is comfort, conflict, grief, suffering, and caring all rolled into one. It's an apartment and it's a nightclub. Its residents are actual family and created family. Home is literal but it's also symbolic, since in many ways home is simply the feeling that one belongs.

Questions About The Home

  1. Do you think Sonny ever really feels at home anywhere? If so, where?
  2. Is "home" a happy place for the narrator?
  3. Can Sonny ever really come back home once he's been a drug addict and been to jail?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

Home is a tough place for these characters. Living in Harlem traps them.

Home is more an idea in "Sonny's Blues" than an actual place. Home is where you can always come back to, no matter how badly you've screwed up.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...