Sonny Blues Research Paper


Research Essay: Use the Internet  to research the history of jazz and, in particular, the significance of Sonnys identification with the bebop jazz artist Charlie Parker. Write an essay in which you consider the relationship between jazz structures and the narrative structure of Sonnys Blues. How might the emphasis on both repetition and improvisation in jazz be relevant to the narrators way of telling his story (he resists a straightforward chronological approach and instead uses flashbacks and anecdotes to circle around and continually revisit the central themes of the story).

Pay particular attention to the scene at the end of the story when the narrator tries to describe the effect of the bands rendition of Am I Blue. What kind of relationship does the narrator theorize between music and pain and joy? Between music and the history of African American experience? Is an implicit comparison being made between Sonnys music and the narrators (or Baldwins) writing?

Sonny Blues Research Paper

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