Saturday, September 7, 2019
Background and conditions Essay Example for Free
Background and conditions Essay How is it possible that two people grow up together in the same family background and conditions, yet turn out to be strangers? How is it possible that two people who have lived together for many years are strangers to each other at the end? In Sonnys Blues, two brothers the narrator and Sonny, grows up together in Harlem, fall apart as they grow older, and live completely different lives. In Lullaby, Ayah feels that Chato, her husband, has remained stranger to her even when they have spend forty years together, facing all the hardships and sufferings given by life. In Sonny Blues, the narrator is the older brother who is conservative, determined, and a kind of family person. Sonny, who is his younger brother, is carefree and undecided about his future plans. It is sometimes very difficult to understand how two people coming from the same background live life completely opposite from each other. As the narrator and Sonny grow into adults, one moves towards success and the other moves towards failure. Once when their mother was dead, their lives completely changed. The narrator wants Sonny to finish his school and think about his future seriously. After knowing Sonnys plans to play jazz music, the narrator is surprised and annoyed. His conservative thinking and definition of success makes him unable to understand his brothers feelings. He fails to understand that music is Sonnys life and thats what he wants to do all his life. That makes him feel that he doesnt know his brother at all. He is like a stranger to him. The narrator, in some way or the other, wants his brother to be like himself and wants him to do whatever he thinks is safe and right for his future. So Sonny was forced to move in with his brothers fianci e, Isabel, where he has to stay until he finished high school. Sonny starts skipping school and eventually he ceases to go all together. He has been spending all his time with some musicians in a white girls apartment. He is scolded and screamed at by Isabels mother and that is what breaks him down and he runs away. After that, whenever the two brothers met they always fought awfully. It is hard to not be able to fit into society and that is why Sonny turned to drugs for a sense of belonging. Nobody was aware about this problem until it was too late. The narrator has never been a good listener to his brother. That is what I think is the greatest factor that gives him the sense of alienation towards his brother. Sonny was always kept away from his dreams. At the end of the story, the narrator for the first time listens to his brother after all these years and tries to understand him and the sufferings he has to face all his life and tries to console him. Thats when he hears him playing the piano and he ends up being proud of his brother. He becomes the important person in Sonnys life, on the way from suffering to success. They both end up happy and understanding each other much better. In Lullaby, Ayah, the old woman and her husband, Chato have lived together for forty years. Together, they have seen their three children getting apart. Ayah hates white people because she thinks that Jimmie, their eldest son, died due to them. BIA-Bureau of Indian Affairs, who consists of white people, takes away her other two children. On the other hand, Chato is always eager to learn white ways of living. He is fluent in both English and Spanish languages and works for white people in a horse farm. She hated him for teaching her to sign her name in English because thats what takes her children away from her. If she had not signed it, her children would never have departed. The white people fired Chato; he became ill after that. As Ayah describes it, That satisfied her. To see how the white man repaid years of loyalty and work. All of Chatos fine -sounding English talk didnt change things(Baldwin 127). This shows that Ayah was so rigid about her thoughts for white people that she didnt even spare her husband from criticizing. They got some money from the government that Chato spends for his wine. He was sick and drunk one evening when Ayah had to go to pick him up from the bar. That is when she feels a sense of alienation and estrangement towards Chato. She could not see him as a person so ill, drunk, and broken mentally from what he has faced after his sincere and loyal work toward white people. This feeling is very different from what the narrator in Sonnys Blues feels about his brother at some point in the story. Even if Ayah and the narrator in both the stories feel the sense of estrangement and alienation towards the people, so close to their hearts, it is different. The narrator and Sonny never stayed together for long when they grew up. They were always apart and different. Ayah and Chato were different in every way but they lived together all their life, they knew they had, and faced every suffering together. When Ayah sees Chato losing his strength to fight against the hard facts towards life, she feels this sense of estrangement. She has never seen Chato losing or giving up. She has always seen him facing the difficulties with courage and determination. She feels that they are old now. In Sonnys blues, both the brothers end up happily, but in Lullaby, the end is sad. Ayah has nothing to say about anything anymore. Her life has become memories. But the narrator and Sonny have a lot to do together in their life.