All Baldwin tells us about Isabel’s parents is that they didn’t approve of the narrator marrying their daughter, and yet they took in teenaged, orphaned Sonny anyway for the narrator’s sake. It’s a kindness that’s not straightforward; while taking Sonny in is obviously generous, they don’t make him feel terribly welcome, which leads him to flee.
The timeline below shows where the character Isabel’s Parents appears in Sonny’s Blues. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
...he has arranged for his wife’s family to take Sonny in. This isn’t ideal, as Isabel’s parents are touchy and hadn’t approved of her marriage to the narrator. Seeming to understand the... (full context)