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Sonny's Blues

Sonny's Blues

by James Baldwin

Sonny's Blues Questions

Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.

  1. The story moves back and forth from the present to the past and back again. Does this influence how we read the story? If so, how?
  2. What purpose does the information about the death of the narrator's daughter serve in terms of the larger story?
  3. Could this story have been set somewhere besides Harlem and still have dealt with the same issues?
  4. If you had to cast a movie version of "Sonny's Blues," who would you cast as Sonny? How about the narrator?
  5. Would the story be different if it were about two sisters?
  6. Why does Baldwin make sure we know that the narrator is a high school math teacher?
  7. Is there something symbolic about the actual drink the narrator sends to Sonny at the end of the story (a Scotch and milk)?
  8. What is your reaction to Creole? Do you like him? Do you not like him? Why?

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