Essay on Point of View in Sonny's Blues

958 Words Jun 19th, 2008 4 Pages
The Effects of Point of View in “Sonny’s Blues” James Baldwin’s, “Sonny’s Blues,” illustrates the story between two different brothers as they struggle to discover the character of one another. “Sonny’s Blues” is narrated through the older brother’s point of view, as he portrays their difficulties in growing up, separation, and reunion. Baldwin purposely picks to tell the story in the first person point of view because of the omniscient and realistic effects it contribute to the story overall. The mother, father, and Sonny all express their accounts to the older brother, making him the perfect character to tell the story. In addition, the first person point of view allows the reader to experience the vicarious feelings that the …show more content…
The story is not progressive but rather collective. The brother has all the information and then he composes the story. By doing this, the reader has the ability to understand the plot more completely. The reader can see how the discovery of his uncle relates to his care for his brother. It also shows how the death of Gracie leads the brother to realizing the importance of family. “And I didn’t write Sonny or send him anything for a long time. When I finally did, it was just after my little girl died.” (Baldwin 46) Although the events take place during different time, Baldwin portrays the events as if happening at the same time. As a result, the brother can emphasize more on the content of the events and their relationship to one another, rather than their sequence or causality. This would be impossible and dulled if the brother did not selective omniscient information of the past, present, and future. Baldwin’s superior usage of point of view is a major cause of the success of “Sonny’s Blues.” By having the point of view as first person, and having the main omniscient character, the brother tells the story, Baldwin completely draws the reader into the story. The brother has the complete account of all the characters in the story. Reading the story from his perspective grants the reader a more completeness of the story, which would otherwise be incomplete. The first person point of view is also

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