Harlem is a city in New York that is captivating and astonishing in many ways. It's known for the black renaissance movement and a stomping ground for many other blacks after the civil war. Just as Harlem has so many good attributes towards it, it also has plenty if negatives, like all places throughout the world. Harlem around the 1950’s was predominantly black due to the blacks leaving the south to migrate north and create better life’s for them and there families, something that’s probably couldn’t be achieved in the rural south. It's a very tough city to grow up in, especially when your surroundings aren’t the most beneficial towards you. In Sonny’s Blues the setting plays a huge factor in the theme of the story because you have an individual vs. society conflict throughout the story. Throughout this essay I will display how Harlem has formed Sonny and is the reason why he feels and acts the way he does. If the setting was totally different, there’s good chance this story would be played out completely different, in probably every single way.
Product of your environment may be the best words to describe Sonny and why he is the way he is. Sonny wants to life his life, his way and not how his brother or father have been living there’s. Though he wanted to join the army o that he could get away from Harlem and all the negativity that comes along with it, his brother urged him not to enlist in the service, so he has to find another route to leave. Some opportunities that could possibly help him with this idea of leaving are not accessible to him due to the fact he lives in Harlem and the era he lives in. With that said, its still hard to obtain this goal when you live in a city where blacks are being oppressed and still looked down upon, even though people are suppose to be “separate but equal”. Just like others, Sonny goes through life trying to figure out his purpose in life and makes some mistakes as any other...