In Sonny’s blues by James Bladwin. I feel that I can dig a little deeper about neglect. About Sonny and his brothers relationship to him.
The story starts of with Sonnys brother (The Narrator) reading about his brother in the paper, “I was scared, scared of Sonny, he became real to me again”(Baldwin, 93), This tells us that its the first time in a while that the brother thinks about Sonny and that they dont really have a good contact. That the brother is not really in to the loop about whats going on in Sonny’s life. “A great block of ice got settled in my belly”(93) Even though The brother is not so set in Sonny’s current life you get the feeling that he still cares about his brother. But that Sonny was a bit wold when he was going up in Harlem. “I Was sure that the first time Sonny had ever had horse*(94) We also learn that the brother knows about Sonny’s addiction, might have given up on helping with that (or rather after Sonny’s given up on receving the brothers help).
Further in the story, we do a jump back in to the family’s earlier years when their father still was alive. The father is described as a drinker and always looking for something better. Is not a bad man but he fights with Sonny on everything but Sonny was “the apple of his father’s eye” (99) and he is a overprotecting father. The brother is yet again out of the picture do to being a soldier during the war and only returns during the funeral of their father. At that point Sonny only has his mother and his brother (who is restless and only wants to go see his soon to be wife). The brother hears a story from their mother about their unknown uncle who dies at a early age and their mothers worry about that Sonny will turn out the same. “I ain’t telling you all this, to make you scared or bitter or to make you hate nobody. I’m telling you this because you got a brother” (102), this gives a sense that their mother know about the path Sonny is on and warns the brother about this in case she dies. The brother forgets about this after getting married and goes back to the army.
Not long after that their mother dies and the brother that has been gone, gets home to a empty house and a lonely little brother. After hearing about what Sonny wants to do with his life his brother tries to make him be resonable. This gives Sonny the impression that his brother does not want him be what he wants and to be able to leave Harlem. “The reason I wanted to leave Harlem so bad was to get away from the drugs”(111). Sonny knew about his problem and all he wanted was to leave it and Harlem, but never told his brother the reason during those times.