sonny's blues quotes

Quotes from James Baldwin's Sonny's Blues. But you try all kinds of ways to keep from drowning in it, to keep on top of it, and to make it seem—well, like, you. . He hopes that there will never come a time when the old folks won’t be sitting around the living room, talking about where they’ve come from, and what they’ve seen, and what’s happened to them and their kinfolk.”, “You got to hold on to your brother .

It's made out of so much wood and wires and little hammers and big ones, and ivory. “For, while the tale of how we suffer, and how we are delighted, and how we may triumph is never new, it always must be heard. I hadn’t wanted to know.”, “He hopes that the hand which stokes his forehead will never stop – will never die. The darkness outside is what the old folks have been talking about. He knows that every time this happens he’s moved just a little closer to that darkness outside. Snappsy the Alligator (Did Not Ask to Be in This Book). He has to make it do what he wants it to do.

Or rather: his kingdom. . Some analysts have argued that the narrator represents the \"'white' Negro\" (Ognibene 26), or the segment of the African American community that has assimilated into white culture. It’s what they endure. There isn't any other tale to tell, it's the only light we've got in all this darkness.”, “All I know about music is that not many people ever really hear it. What is evoked in him, then, is of another order, more terrible because it has no words, and triumphant, too, for that same reason. Prison, for Sonny, was a hellish experience, as was his addiction to heroin.

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. It’s what they endure. The question that remains for Sonny is whether he can be brought back into the light, whether he can ultimately be saved. It might be said, perhaps, that I had escaped, after all, I was a school teacher; or that Sonny had, he hadn't lived in Harlem for years. It’s a painful realization, one that he is forced to confront now that Sonny has become, to some degree, his responsibility. It’s what they’ve come from. family coming back togetherness. and don’t let him fall, no matter what it looks like is happening and no matter how evil you gets with him.”, ″ . Your support helps us continue to discover and share incredible kids books! And when light fills the room, the child is filled with darkness. Tragically this includes his brother, who has been pulled into the Harlem underworld, experimenting with heroin at an early age and later becoming a dealer.

There isn't any other tale to tell, it's the only light we've got in all this darkness.”, “It ain't only the bad ones, nor yet the dumb ones that gets sucked under.”, “Some escaped the trap, most didn't. And even then, on the rare occasions when something opens within, and the music enters, what we mainly hear, or hear corroborated, are personal, private, vanishing evocations. . All Quotes It was because he loved Sonny so much and was frightened for him, that he was always fighting for him.”. Both experiences have altered Sonny, but he remains, at heart, the same person he’s always been. Use up and down arrows to review and enter to select. I wanted to write you many a time but I dug how much I must have hurt you and so I didn't write. It's always at the hour of trouble and confrontation that the missing member aches.”, “It's the only light we've got in all this darkness”, “In a moment someone will get up and turn on the light. This was because I had begun, finally, to wonder about Sonny, about the life that Sonny lived inside.”.

Sonny’s Blues. The child knows that they won’t talk any more because if he knows too much about what’s happened to them, he’ll know too much too soon, about what’s going to happen to him.”. Like you did something, all right, and now you’re suffering for it.”, “I feel like a man who’s been trying to climb up out of some deep, real deep and funky hole and just saw the sun up there, outside. I think he sort of looked down on me for that.”, “I think people ought to do what they want to do, what else are they alive for?”, “He and his boys up there were keeping it new, at the risk of ruin, destruction, madness, and death, in order to find new ways to make us listen. The narrator notes, somewhat mournfully, that he never actually knew his baby brother, even though he can see traces of him buried beneath the darkness of prison life and drug addiction. Here, I was in Sonny’s world. All they really knew were two darknesses, the darkness of their lives, which were now closing in on them, and the darkness of the movies, which had blinded them to that other darkness, and in which they now, vindictively, dreamed, at once more together than they were at any other time, and more alone.”, “It doesn't do any good to fight with Sonny. By striving towards what the white community views as respectability, the narrator has closed himself to part of the African American experience. 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.”, “I’d never played the role of older brother quite so seriously before, had scarcely ever .

It's a wonder it doesn't blow the avenue apart.”, “You're getting to be a big boy,' I said desperately, 'it's time you started thinking about your future. While there's only so much you can do with it, the only way to find this out is to try; to try and make it do everything.”, “And I was yet aware that this was only a moment, that the world waited outside, as hungry as a tiger, and that trouble stretched above us, longer than the sky.”, “These boys, now, were living as we'd been living then, they were growing up with a rush and their heads bumped abruptly against the low ceiling of their actual possibilities. Quotes By James Baldwin.

Sonny just moves back, inside himself, where he can't be reached.”, “All that hatred down there," he said, "all that hatred and misery and love. The narrator makes this observation about Sonny when he sees him after he’s released from prison. He is physically free now, but whether he is free of his addiction and sorrow is still unclear. You walk these streets, black and funky and cold, and there's not really a living ass to talk to, and there's nothing shaking, and there's no way of getting it out- that storm inside. 1. Sonny's Blues Quotes Showing 1-18 of 18. The narrator makes this observation about Sonny … I had kept it outside me for a long time. . Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. Visit BN.com to buy new and used textbooks, and check out our award-winning NOOK tablets and eReaders. “He and Sonny hadn’t ever got on too well.

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 that part of ourselves which had been left behind. Neither did they dare to make a great scene about that piano because even they dimly sensed, as I sensed, from so many thousands of miles away, that Sonny was at that piano playing for his life.”, “When I saw him many things I thought I had forgotten came flooding back to me. There isn’t any other tale to tell, it’s the only light we’ve got in all this darkness.”, “Yet, when he smiled, when we shook hands, the baby brother I’d never known looked out from the depths of his private life, like an animal waiting to be coaxed into the light.”, “We live in a housing project. But now I feel like a man who's been trying to climb up out of some deep, really deep and funky hole and just saw the sun up there, outside. He has to fill it, this instrument, with the breath of life, his own.

I got to get outside.”, “They certainly couldn’t throw him out. While in prison, Sonny lived like a caged animal, trapped in the misery of his life. So you've got to listen. I got to get outside.”, “It's terrible sometimes, inside," he said, "that's what's the trouble. Here, it was not even a question that his veins bore royal blood.”, “For, while the tale of how we suffer, and how we are delighted, and how we may triumph is never new, it always must be heard. I sensed myself in the presence of something I didn’t really know how to handle, didn’t understand.”, “The beat-looking grass lying around isn’t enough to make their lives green, the hedges will never hold out the streets, and they know it.”, “Yet, it was clear that, for them, I was only Sonny’s brother. Welcome back. “For, while the tale of how we suffer, and how we are delighted, and how we may triumph is never new, it always must be heard. . By using our site you consent to our use of cookies. . SparkNotes is brought to you by Barnes & Noble.

It’s what they’ve come from.

When the narrator di… You got to find a way to listen.”, “Years ago, when he was around fourteen, he'd been all hipped on the idea of going to India. #2. It hasn’t been up long. The child knows that they won’t talk any more because if he knows too much about what’s happened to them, he’ll know too much too soon, about what’s going to happen to him.”, “No there’s no way not to suffer. Then the old folks will remember the children and they won’t talk anymore that day. There isn't any other tale to tell, it's the only light we've got in all this darkness.”. For, while the tale of how we suffer, and how we are delighted, and how we may triumph is never new, it always must be heard. ― James Baldwin, Sonny's Blues. concepts. But the man who creates the music is hearing something else, is dealing with the roar rising from the void and imposing order on it as it hits the air. Error rating book. And this was partly because Sonny was the apple of his father’s eye. Sonny. A few days after it was up it seemed uninhabitably new, now, of course, it’s already run down.”, “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.”, “And I was yet aware that this was only a moment, that the world waited outside, as hungry as a tiger, and that trouble stretched above us, longer than the sky.”, “These boys, now, were living as we’d been living then, they were growing up with a rush and their heads bumped abruptly against the low ceiling of their actual possibilities.”, “The darkness outside is what the old folks have been talking about.

I used to say that it sounded to me as though they were getting away from wisdom as fast as they could. Those who got out always left something of themselves behind, as some animals amputate a leg and leave it in the trap.

Learn the important quotes in Sonny's Blues and the chapters they're from, including why they're important and what they mean in the context of the book.

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