Sonny’s friend is, like Sonny, an addict in Harlem. The narrator recognizes him because he’s always on the streets asking for money. At the beginning of the story, Sonny’s friend tracks down the narrator to tell him about Sonny’s arrest, and in the course of their conversation Sonny’s friend is able to elicit compassion from the narrator for Sonny’s plight, even though it doesn’t inspire him to reach out to Sonny in jail.
The timeline below shows where the character Sonny’s Friend appears in Sonny’s Blues. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
...the courtyard of the school, he sees someone he mistakes for Sonny—but it’s actually a childhood friend of Sonny’s that the narrator dislikes because he’s always high and asking for money, although the narrator... (full context)