Discussion 1: on james baldwin’s “sonny’s blues”
Your initial post is due by midnight (11:59 PM) on Thursday and your response to your peers is due on Friday (by 11:59 PM) . You must write at least 400 words on James Baldwin’s “Sonny’s Blues”
After you finish writing your response make sure to write an original title that captures the main idea you are focusing on. You want to avoid having a generic title like ‘Discussion of “Sonny’s Blues”‘.
Except for the first bullet point, you can address the rest in any order you choose. Your response should not be in the form of a numbered list: use the prompts below to write at least three paragraphs incorporating the prompts into your response.
- In one or two sentences state your general impression of “Sonny’s Blues”, describing what you interpret to be the story’s main theme (or central idea).
- Plot is not just the events that happen in a story, rather it is the way the writer sequences and paces the events so as to shape our responses and interpretations. How does Baldwin use sequencing (the order in which events are related) to develop the situation, point-of-view or key ideas you think the story is trying to represent)?
- All plots hinge on at least one conflict. What conflicts drive the plot of “Sonny’s Blues”?
- Most stories move towards a turning point (a discovery or new insight) or an epiphany (a sudden revelation of truth). How would you describe and interpret the turning point or epiphany in “Sonny’s Blues”?
- Somewhere in your response interpret a description of an inner or psychological state. Baldwin is considered one of the masters of describing the inner life of characters.
- Read Baldwin’s essay “The Creative Process”. What aspects of that essay do you see reflected in “Sonny’s Blues”?