by James Baldwin
Sonny's Blues Questions
Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.
- 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?
- What purpose does the information about the death of the narrator's daughter serve in terms of the larger story?
- Could this story have been set somewhere besides Harlem and still have dealt with the same issues?
- If you had to cast a movie version of "Sonny's Blues," who would you cast as Sonny? How about the narrator?
- Would the story be different if it were about two sisters?
- Why does Baldwin make sure we know that the narrator is a high school math teacher?
- Is there something symbolic about the actual drink the narrator sends to Sonny at the end of the story (a Scotch and milk)?
- What is your reaction to Creole? Do you like him? Do you not like him? Why?