Sonny's Blues by James Baldwin Analysis and Plot

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Drug abuse is extremely prevalent in our society today and has increased tremendously hence leading to the creation of whether some drugs should be legalized in the country or not. As a result, it can be argued that drug abuse is harmful to human beings and should be controlled and dealt with accordingly.

One reason drug abuse should be dealt with is that it results in the destruction of the user’s health. As a result, this could lead to serious medical issues and even cancer. The user reaches a point where they can no longer operate without the use of such drugs which results in them relying on rehabilitation centers or hospitals for the mentally ill. According to research, the most affected population is the youth. This leads them to waste their most crucial years of life which destroy their relationships with friends and family, miss out on career opportunities, and even ruin their physical and mental health.

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In comparison, ‘Sonny’s Blues’ by James Baldwin conveys a central theme surrounding drugs which impact both the users and those who love them. In the story, the heroine destroys lives, families, and artistic talent. The jazz musician turned to heroin and drug dealing as a coping mechanism to offer a momentary escape from the characters’ depressing and oppressive physical environments. It also serves to help deal with the human suffering that surrounds them.

On the other hand, Sonny’s Blues analysis can be argued that drug abuse is not harmful because people use them in order to feel good and have fun. As a result, some people are advocating for the legalization of certain drugs such as marijuana, claiming that it will decrease levels of criminal activity in our society. Every day, many people are convicted for the possession of illegal drugs. This means that their lives end up being wasted in jail when they could have had the opportunity to engage in constructive things which lead to the creation of a bright future. Therefore, drug abuse is harmful and given permission, people would realize the effects of taking these drugs is dangerous and not worth ruining families and lives over.

In contrast, Melville’s “The Paradise of bachelor’s and Tartarus of Maids” does not contain the use of drug and alcohol abuse. Instead, most of the first sketch describes a dinner the narrator shares with nine of the bachelors. The elaborate meal is evoked in the mock-epic terms of an Army advance punctuated by frequent drinking, with different dishes standing in for different military ranks. In the story, the bachelors only drink if they are all going to drink. “The very perfection of quiet absorption of good living, good drinking, good feeling, and good talk.” This storyline is mainly pertaining to drinking in moderation which is best.

In conclusion, the harmful effects of drug abuse outweigh the harmless effects. So, it is up to society to provide ways which aid in the reduction in the levels of drug abuse in order to help save the youth from harmful drug and alcohol addiction. The youth is our future, and tomorrows leaders. The development of youth projects would keep them maintain positive and goal oriented mindsets, which in addition would prevent them from abusing drugs.



Works Cited

  1. Holliman, Chloe, and Chloe Holliman. “Surviving and Suffering:” Medium, World Literature, 1 Dec. 2015, 
  2. Traynelis, Josh, et al. Literature and Technology,

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