The Sonny’s Blues novel of James Baldwin has a very fundamental and decisive ending. The scene of the ending is in the jazz club where Sonny, brother of the undisclosed narrator in the story, is one of the musicians. The narrator agreed to with his brother to the club which he prejudged as full of darkness not beneficial and favorable to his brother. Sonny has an addiction to heroin which made him more distant to his brother because the narrator wants his brother to have a good life. This good life he is speaking of is like his life where he sees all things under idealistic view. But in this ending, the narrator learned to “listen” to his brother about his addiction.
If the ending could have been different, one of the pros behind is that the message of the story could have been different. The symbolisms and the idioms within the story will relate different notions to different readers. There is also the possibility that the impact of this novel to the literature world could have been different as well. It may lead to a more famous James Baldwin if it turned out better or an average Baldwin because this novel has been the beginning of James Baldwin recognition in the literature world. There is also the possibility that the scope of readers it covers is wider aside from the depressed and anguished. The impact could have been better if the ending is revised in a different way as long as the continuity of thoughts of the story must not be disintegrated or disengaged.
When Was Sonny’s Blues Written
The original ending is very “pro” in relation to the whole story because it reveals and bares the degree of changes in the narrator’s life and view. This is further emphasized through a flashback of the narrator’s last conversation with his mother where his mother warned and requested him to hold onto his brother and to not let him fall no matter what is happening to his brother and no matter how evil he gets to his brother. She told the narrator that he might get evil to his brother many times but he must not forget what his mother told and requested him (Baldwin, 2002). Without thinking, the narrator made a promise to his mother that he will not allow anything to happen to Sonny. Her dying mother smiled because she was amused of the innocence behind that promise. Through the ending in the jazz club where Sonny was on stage playing and the narrator met his brother’s friends, fellow musicians, and patrons, he saw the appreciation they had to Sonny in a way the narrator is never was to his brother. The narrator starts to appreciate, recognize, and realize the importance of jazz and blues music to Sonny. Instead of aiming and forcing Sonny to fit and adapt to his world, the other way around, he was in Sonny’s world or rather his kingdom were he grasp that n this world flows a royal blood in Sonny’s vein compared to his. The narrator analyzed that jazz music was his brother’s and other artists’ way to express their agony, suffering, and fear instead of being addicted to heroin. What then plays in Sonny’s music was his life along with other artists’ lives. The misery and distress of the brothers from the beginning of the story and how they struggled to handle these problems made them different. The narrator handled it through keeping it within himself like an ice that made it all hard for him. Thus, he even considered Sonny’s struggles as his own that made him cautious anytime if Sonny’s addiction will come back. Compared to Sonny, he is strong enough to face the reality of his problems and faced them through his music to release it. This final scene further exemplifies the tragedies that befell his parents, the death of the narrator’s daughter of polio, and sorrow of his wife which are the other highlights of the story as well. The narrator was touched with the music and felt its power that let him faced his pain right then.
On the other hand, one of the cons if the ending could have been different is the possibility that the impact to the readers of the novel might be towards the negative side. There is also the possibility of discontinuity of thoughts of the story. If the style of the ending would be changed too, the impact of the story and its purpose is diverted or changed. But with the prowess of Baldwin in writing, even with a different ending this might not occur.