Sonny’s Blues Saved my Life” reflection on James Baldwin’s “Sonny’s Blues”by kenneth McClain

Kenneth McClane’s “, Sonny’s Blues, Rescued My Life” is a critical commentary on James Baldwin’s story “Sonny’s Blues” on particular topics surrounding family relations and obligation. The persona reflects on his family’s loss of his younger brother, Paul. Ideally, the stories address a variety of common topics in settings. We will address a meditation on personal relationships of family relations and obligations as one way Kenneth focuses on “Sonny’s Blues” in this debate. Clearly, the persona is reflecting on personal memories as well as what is happening in this novel. First, the guilt of not being there for everyone in his family eats into the conscience of the persona in a precise manner as he reflects on the story of the two brothers in Baldwin’s “Sonny’s Blues.” His worries revolve around the phone calls, conversation with Paul as well as how he pretended busy and attached to his profession more than family. Ideally, family ties and love goes beyond mere job satisfaction and economic earnings.

Secondly, the same events that happened in “Sonny’s Blues” tend to occur in the author’s experience. He has a little brother addicted to alcohol and a drummer too. The two scenarios are epic and coincidental in numerous aspects. They tend to create room for reflection on the real issues in the contemporary society. Similarly, there is a candid similarity between what the persona goes through and what Baldwin demonstrated in his story. Thus, the two set portray the same situation in different backgrounds. The impacts of personal reflection transpire in this case as the persona relates the story to his brother’s demise.

Struggles and pain are real in any society. In this case, Kenneth narrates the memoirs of the person, an elder brother, in a manner that it portrays an ideal situation in most cases in the contemporary society. According to him, the struggles and pain that consumed his younger are a result of lack of family ties and sufficient love from him. It is true that most of the issues he faced arose from the fact that he was an addict and nobody seemed to have cared and known much about him. While trying to share much with his brother, the persona, the younger brother found no solace in most instances until he gave up on his life.

Moreover, Kenneth focused on the theme of love and relationship in families to help us understand how the salvage and the reflection bore importance in this case. It is essential to identify the various barriers to a healthy relationship before people we love or love us lose hope on us. Such experiences may traumatize and haunt the victim for a long time in their life. Consequently, this story is a mere narration of the contemporary issues happening in a storyline, though a different background. Ideally, one would understand what the persona went through on the realization his brother’s death scenario.

The story mimics the importance of experience in shaping the ties and bond between family members. It points at the turning point of the persona. The death of his brother, Paul, made him recognize the gap in his relationship with the family members. He had focused more on his duties and professional growth at the expense of losing touch with his siblings and parents. Reading the story, he learns that struggles are real and they are all over the world. However, one should not concentrate on the economic affairs and well-being forgetting the bond that ties them as a family. At the same time, the context of communication and humanity should provide the frameworks of decision-making in any social setups.

Ideally, the current narrative is a reflection of the subjects in contexts. One happened in a story while one is an ongoing experience. The connection between these situations portrays a mega input in the characteristics of human society. A family is considered as a single unit that should particularly bond the members. Family members should share every moment in life. They should seek to counsel one another by providing financial, social and emotional support to each other at all times in the society. Therefore, the death of Paul and the story of Baldwin triggers the contextual thinking of the persona. He reflects on how he used to the fake situation to avoid his little brother on his adventurous events in the society.

At the same time, there is a broad connection between the experiences in the story and what happened in the majority of families. In most cases, people tend to focus on their daily duties and forget the backbone of their social and emotional growth. The actual connection in humanity plays a significant increase in our personality. In fact, the plot highlights the elements of family relationships and environmental aspects of growth in any set of the family unit. Paul grew up as an ambitious teenager who liked adventure. He never loved their mode of life Harlem as well as the way the elder brother perceived life itself. These concerns raised some issues within the family and created a constant quest for exploiting other aspects of life while he was still young.

Interestingly, the two younger boys share similar traits, the one in the story “Sonny’s Blues Saved my Life” and the other one in “Sonny’s Blues.” Therefore, the conceptual aspects of both stories highlight the affairs linking people together in any society. Most individuals have similar traits in the contemporary society. Such boundaries define the aspect of social backgrounds and the protection of cultural perspectives in the same settings as indicated in such backgrounds. Consequently, Kenneth McClane uses the opportunity to denote his experience, one that is full of sadness and struggles. At the same time, he realizes that the story James Baldwin “Sonny’s Blues” portrayed the same situations. However, the latter further explores the boundaries of love and other pillars of social culture.

In conclusion, the author uses the theme of love and family ties to present a reflection of individual encounters in a manner that every aspect of the contact coincides with the readings in the story. Typically, the boundaries of experience, in this case, heighten the progress of perception and change of the persona. Ideally, this story is a story within a story and mimics much of the contemporary issues in our societies. Based on similar encounters, families undergo awkward moments as well good times. The feelings of isolation and sadness may result in harmful behaviors such as death and hatred. It is clear that the memoirs portray an individual in deep sorrow and regret while reflecting on his relationship with his younger brother who died out of the feeling dejection, loneliness as well as substance abuse and addictions.


James Baldwin. (n.d.) Sonny’s blues. Retrieved from

Gale, C. L. (2015). A Study Guide to James Baldwin’s Sonny’s Blues. Gale, Cengage Learning.

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