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Carson Academy of Medical Arts Suffering in Sonnys Blues Summary

Carson Academy of Medical Arts Suffering in Sonnys Blues Summary

Carson Academy of Medical Arts Suffering in Sonnys Blues Summary


Directions: You will focus your discussion on one aspect of the story. Although your focus is on one element of the story, you will discuss various scenes from the story, various influences on those scenes. Choose from a focus below (or discuss an alternate focus with me) Your essay topic should focus on one of the topics below.


“Sonny’s Blues” helps us to understand the various ways people experience pain and suffering. As a musician and artist, Sonny tries to make known the pain he sees around him. The narrator, on the other hand, denies his own pain and hardship, and that of those around him. But when he is finally forced to see it, he begins to understand Sonny as both an artist and as a recovering addict. What role does suffering play in the story?

Think about:

What is the narrator’s understanding of suffering? Does that change as the story progresses?

How does each brother take on the subject of suffering? Addiction?

Essay Outline

For those who need assistance


Title of Essay


  1. Background information (interesting facts, rhetorical questions, philosophical musing on the topic)
  1. _________________________________
  1. _________________________________

Thesis Statement: (Write the sentence in full. Include Topic, Controlling Idea, and 3 Aspects/1, 2, 3 Focal Points.)

In the short story, “Sonny’s Blues” by James Baldwin _



  1. ________________________________________

(Main idea/Claim # 1)

  1. ___________________________________

(lead in to quotation #1)

  1. ________________________________

(Discussion of connection between quotation/evidence and claim) Your comments

  1. ________________________________

(lead in to quotation #2)

  1. ___________________________________

(Discussion of connection between quotations/evidence #2, claim and/or evidence #1)

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