Sonny’s Blues


James Baldwin

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The Narrator’s Sons Character Analysis

The narrator’s sons are most frequently invoked in the story to demonstrate the destructive potential of Harlem. The narrator worries constantly that these kind and good-natured boys will become corrupted by the drugs, violence, and rage of Harlem. Otherwise, nearly all that is conveyed about the boys is that they are welcoming to Sonny and they treat him well.
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The Narrator’s Sons Character Timeline in Sonny’s Blues

The timeline below shows where the character The Narrator’s Sons appears in Sonny’s Blues. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Sonny’s Blues
Cycles of Suffering Theme Icon
Family Bonds Theme Icon
Passion, Restraint, and Control Theme Icon
Salvation and Relief Theme Icon
...that he lives in one of the menacing housing projects he described. He notes that his sons, growing up there, will face the same danger and suffering that he and Sonny faced... (full context)
Family Bonds Theme Icon
Despite this, Sonny’s first night living with the narrator’s family is successful— the narrator’s two sons like him, and Isabel seems glad to have him there. The narrator, though, seems on... (full context)