Baldwin presents Sonny as a neglected and misunderstood artist whose sensitivities and weakness of will power led to despair. The struggles that the African Americans in Harlem faced in the nineteenth century deeply affect Sonny. Where his brother manages to ignore them, Sonny wants to find a solution to the suffering as he says, "But you try all kinds of ways to keep from drowning in it." His brother finally understands Sonny's predicament when he admits, "I had held silence - so long! - when he needed human speech to help him." He finally "listens" to Sonny who then finds a release in his music that also gives hope and "light" to others in "darkness." He finally manages to find peace with the artist within and in turn progress in his career as a musician, perhaps true to his name making his dead parents proud.
The following is an outline for the essay and the writer can feel free to modify as he sees fit. As far as the outline provided the instructor would like an improvement and she commented on it with the following statement: “This is a thorough and well-organized outline. One thing to incorporate into your paper is more focus on the author, Baldwin. You can use your same ideas, just show that Baldwin has ownership over the theme. It’s a good idea to put the author and title in your thesis, so maybe change it to something like: "In "Sonny’s Blues," Baldwin uses symbolism, setting, point-of-view, and character, to show that people can change."