ENGL 155 Brookdale Community College Themes in Sonny Blues Discussion

Theme Definition (Links to an external site.)

The theme of a piece of literature is defined (Links to an external site.)as the main idea or an underlying meaning of a literary work that may be stated directly or indirectly. (http://literarydevices.net/theme (Links to an external site.))

Major and Minor Themes

Major and minor themes are two types of themes that appear in literary works. A major theme is an idea that a writer repeats in his work, making it the most significant idea in a literary work. A minor theme, on the other hand, refers to an idea that appears in a work briefly and gives way to another minor theme. (http://literarydevices.net/theme (Links to an external site.)) (Links to an external site.)

A story’s themes are best and most specifically expressed as complete sentences. Thus, rather than saying “one theme of Sonny’s Blues is suffering” or even “coping with suffering” we should be more precise and say: “One theme of Sonny’s Blues is that tragedy and suffering can be transformed into a communal art form such as blues music.” We might even go further to claim that blues music can be viewed as a catalyst for change, as the narrator begins to understand not only the music but also himself and his relationship with Sonny. Similarly, we might explore the theme of brotherhood in Sonny’s Blues, and suggest that the story implies that we are “our brother’s keepers,” and that brotherly support amounts to more than control or coercion. It requires listening and true understanding.

CHOOSE ONE of the themes noted above, or one that you want to put into your own words, and place it at the top of your response here. Then, in approximately one full page, note why this is a significant theme in “Sonny’s Blues” and USE QUOTES FROM THE STORY in every paragraph to support your assertion.

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