I really enjoyed the way this story played out. Baldwin really used excellent detail to develop different scenes which gave the reader an actual sense of what was happening. It also made the characters in the story more real. Baldwin made his characters come to life by giving them an actual history, true emotions, and placing them in situations that were believable.
I really enjoyed the story and the emotional rollercoaster Baldwin put me in. First, I was curious as to what the big issue was with the narrator in the beginning. As the story developed I found out that his brother Sonny has gone to a detox facility to recover from heroin and that he lost his mother. Those two point immediately made me sad and sympathetic with the narrator. We then get this history of the narrator and Sonny, and all of the struggles that they have endured throughout their lives. At that point, I become understanding as to why Sonny fell into the pressures of society and how music was his only outlet. I then became hopeful, for the question as to whether or not Sonny would live a sober life came to the surface. I so wanted Sonny to endure and stay clean for himself and for his brother.
Baldwin story allowed us to view life in Harlem an many of the hardships African American people endured. He uses the metaphor darkness as a symbol of the hard life many people and Harlem have. So many try to avoid this darkness; however, not many are fortunate enough to stay away from it. Reflecting and retelling is the only way these individuals deal with this darkness. Whether it is in a group meeting with close people after church, or the singing of the blues. The blues was Sonny outlet, and was the way he dealt with the darkness he endured.