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I am choosing to do my comparison on Sonny’s Blues and Notes of a native son both are written by James Baldwin. There have been many politicians and cultural theorists who have spent many hours and tons of labor exploring the endless questions of race and racism. But it is the work of the poets and of the many authors that seem to capture all of the psychological details. James Baldwin has also used his writings to explore some of the many questions about the issues of race and racism by using his own personal experiences and his relationships also by using some of the most intimate moments of oppression in his writings. His work led to the writing of many essays and novels, two of the most prominent I feel are the fictional work Sonny’s Blues and the non-fiction work of Notes of a Native Son. I will show the how Baldwin’s own personal experiences contributed to the power of his writings.
While I was examining some of James Baldwins writings one of the most table turning elements that I noticed was that The Notes of a Native Son was written using a essay format while Sonny’s Blues written narrative. This was something that was noticeable to me. Also the title of Notes of a Native Son could be considered to be a outwardly criticism of the Richard Wright’s Native Son. When reading his stories we should always consider the struggles that Sonny went through on a daily basis with heroin and his use of jazz and music as a way to let out stress. But in Baldwin’s writing of Notes on a Native Son, “All over Harlem, Negro boys and girls are growing into stunted maturity, trying desperately to find a place to stand; and the wonder is not that so many are ruined but that so many survive” (Baldwin, p. 71). In Sonny’s Blues Baldwin uses the narrative as a way of articulating the overall African American experience instead of using it to sensationalize racism
When I read Baldwin’s short story Sonny’s Blues I felt that a large amount of the of the story was influenced by Baldwin’s own personal experiences and his own feelings. I also feel that the setting of the story possibly had occurred in Harlem and Greenwich Village. Since both of these places are directly reflective of Baldwin’s own childhood in these regions. Baldwin, also spent time in Paris as a way of getting away from the stereotypical depictions of a black writer that is concerned with racism. In the story Sonny’s Blues the narrator himself goes off to war. The story also attempts to escape all of the stereotypical notions of racism by demonstrating the deepest reality of the African American experience.
The above are some of the many differences I feel are shown in early fiction and fiction of now using Baldwin’s Sonny’s Blues and Notes of a Native Son. Both of the stories diverge in terms of a different form, Sonny’s Blues is a narrative that shows Baldwin’s perspective on life and of art that is expressed in Notes of a Native Son. Baldwin’s own personal experience are largely exemplified in the story Sonny’s Blues. Both of the stories provide an insight into Baldwin’s perspective and the experience of the African American culture in America.

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