James Baldwin Essays and Research Papers

Instructions for James Baldwin College Essay Examples

Title: In James Baldwin's short story Sonny's Blues one of the principal characters the unnamed narrator learns something significant Analize what the unnamed narrator learns

  • Total Pages: 2
  • Words: 759
  • Bibliography:0
  • Citation Style: APA
  • Document Type: Essay
Essay Instructions: write approximately two-page,double space, word-processed
(or type) persuasive essay. this essay should analize (or systmematically examine) a theme or symbol of james baldwin's short story "sonny's blues."
effective introduction with clear thesis, strong body well develop and conclusion.
incorporate information from secondary source.

number of quotations: 1 or 2.

TOPIC: in JAMES BALDWIN'S short story "Sonny's Blues," one of the principal characters the unnamed narrator, learns something significant. Analized what the unnamed narrator learns.

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Work Cited

Baldwin, James. "Sonny's Blues." The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction R.V. Cassill, ed. W.

W. Norton and Company. New York: 1981.

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Title: Length 3 4 pages Format Typed stapled 12 point Times New Roman font inch margins Description Write essay James Baldwin's Sonny's Blues applying historcal criticism method To begin developing thesis helpful review sections chapter Critical Theory Today list Some questionscritics literary texts

  • Total Pages: 3
  • Words: 907
  • Sources:1
  • Citation Style: MLA
  • Document Type: Research Paper
Essay Instructions: Length: 3-4 pages
Format: Typed, stapled, 12-point Times New Roman font, one-inch margins

Description: Write an essay about James Baldwin's Sonny's Blues applying the historcal criticism method.

To begin developing your thesis, it will be helpful to review the sections in each chapter of Critical Theory Today that list ?Some questions?critics ask about literary texts.? Furthermore, Chapter 13 in An Introduction to Fiction gives general advice for developing theses and writing literary analyses. The essays in Critical Theory Today that apply various critical strategies to The Great Gatsby are examples of the kind of critical thinking and writing this assignment requires.

You are not required to do any research for this essay; however, if you do consult outside sources, you must cite any source from which you extract ideas or quotations. Use Modern Language Association format and citation guidelines. All papers must include a Works Cited page, even if the textbooks are the only entries on it.

Audience: Consider your audience for this essay to be academic readers who are familiar with the story but who are not familiar with the critical strategy or theories you decide to employ. In other words, there is no need to summarize the plot of the story, but you will need to provide an explanation of the critical strategy you choose to use. You may use quotations or paraphrases from Critical Theory Today or other sources.

Style: Your essay should be written in style that is appropriate for an academic audience. Use third person only (except in rare cases). In other words, do not use ?I, we, our, you, your, etc.?

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Works cited:

Baldwin, James, "Sonny's blues and other stories," Penguin, 1995.

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Title: Heroin and Music in Sonny's Blues

  • Total Pages: 10
  • Words: 4114
  • References:3
  • Citation Style: MLA
  • Document Type: Essay
Essay Instructions: This is what I submitted for my Research Paper Proposal. I need a paper written around this topic.

Research Paper Proposal

Drugs are a central theme in "Sonny's Blues," which often are not only problematic for the user but for those who love them as well. James Baldwin goes into great detail on how Sonny?s heroin addiction destroyed his life and family and shows the reader that he uses music as a creative outlet to cope with his addiction. However, it is also a way for Sonny to still escape life just as he does with heroin. While Baldwin doesn't pass judgment on Sonny for his addiction, he does present it as horrible, dreadful, and ultimately a destructive way of life. Throughout the story the reader witnesses how Sonny deals with his pain and problems with music. For Sonny, he uses heroin to deal with his depression, but he knows and admits that in the end it will kill him. Sonny is looking for a positive way to handle and somehow resolve his inner conflicts and finds it by playing the blues and all music in general. He must deal with a lot of issues he has suppressed. Baldwin?s mission is to show how music can free Sonny from the war within himself.
I plan on writing my paper based on the idea that Sonny not only uses heroin to escape life but he also uses music for the same purpose. They both are capable of taking you places without ever having to leave a room. Your mind and thoughts are both altered, whether it is by the lyrics of a particular song or injecting a chemical into your bloodstream.
I want to convey the message that Sonny turns to drugs, just as he does to music, to help him get through the day and survive another 24 hours. Drugs and music offer a momentary escape from Sonny?s depressing environment and serves as a way to help him deal with the suffering that surrounds him.

I have searched the Internet for books and articles, such as ?Life? by Keith Richards and ?Junky? by William S. Burroughs, which will help support by thesis. I want to prove to the reader that Sonny is driven to be on a stage playing music for the same reasons he is bound to drugs. Whether he is high on heroin or surrounded by music, he is still searching for and longing to feel any way other than he does in the present. He needs these two completely different, but in a rather more important meaning the same substances to escape.

Using my personal experience as a driving force behind the paper, along with all the available works of literature on both the topics of music and drug addiction, I know that I will have more than enough information to back up my theory. I do not want to solely use ?I? as the only means of providing the reader with evidence that music and drugs are so much alike. Focusing on examples provided in the text and using direct quotes I can make sure that my thesis has concrete evidence that will make the reader recognize my theme and agree with my argument. I intend on using not only the books I mentioned above but other works of literature along with articles, song lyrics and other sources to back up my thesis. Sonny uses his music to survive and gives meaning to his life. These works will prove this, as it did to the narrator at the nightclub. Music can help to express our pain and suffering, and understand each other in a way we never thought possible.

These are the comments I received from the teacher: I'd still like some clarification about the direction of your comparison between heroin and music. What point are you going to make about it? Why is it important that music seems to be just another method of escape? Does music give him a different kind of high that heroin cannot?

I need quotations from Sonny's Blues by James Baldwin from "The Norton Introduction to Literature, Portable Tenth Edition." by Alison Booth and Kelly J. Mays.
ISBN: 978-0-393-91164-0.
I do not need a specific amount of quotes.

I need limited quotes from both "Junky" by William S. Burroghs and "Life" by Keith Richards, only because I mentioned those in my research paper proposal. I found these but they can be shortened or others can be used as well.

?The question is frequently asked: Why does a man become a drug addict?
The answer is that he usually does not intend to become an addict. You don?t wake up one morning and decide to be a drug addict. It takes at least three months? shooting twice a day to get any habit at all. And you don?t really know what junk sickness is until you have had several habits. It took me almost six months to get my first habit, and then the withdrawal symptoms were mild. I think it no exaggeration to say it takes about a year and several hundred injections to make an addict.
The questions, of course, could be asked: Why did you ever try narcotics? Why did you continue using it long enough to become an addict? You become a narcotics addict because you do not have strong motivations in the other direction. Junk wins by default. I tried it as a matter of curiosity. I drifted along taking shots when I could score. I ended up hooked. Most addicts I have talked to report a similar experience. They did not start using drugs for any reason they can remember. They just drifted along until they got hooked. If you have never been addicted, you can have no clear idea what it means to need junk with the addict?s special need. You don?t decide to be an addict. One morning you wake up sick and you?re an addict. (Junky, Prologue, p. xxxviii)?
? William S. Burroughs, Junky

Keith Richards and a guitar --- and what a love story: "Music was a far bigger drug than smack. I could kick smack; I couldn't quit music. One note leads to another, and you never know what's going to come next, and you don't want to. It's like walking on a beautiful tightrope." (Life)

I do not need footnotes

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Works Cited:

Baldwin, James. "Sonny's Blues." The Norton Introduction to Literature, Portable Tenth Ed. Ed.

Alison Booth and Kelly J. Mays. 2010. Print.

Burroughs, William S. & Soloman, Carl. Junky. New York, NY: Penguin. 2003. Print.

Dingle, Genevieve. "Dance, Drugs and Escape: The Club Scene in Literature, Film and Television Since the Late 1980s." The Art in Psychotherapy. (34). 2007. 321-30. Print.

Richards, Keith. Life. New York, NY: Hachette. 2010. Print.

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Title: sonny's blues

  • Total Pages: 4
  • Words: 1613
  • Works Cited:0
  • Citation Style: MLA
  • Document Type: Research Paper
Essay Instructions: * Sources to use: 2 Journals and 1 Book (Complete sources folder must be attaching to the research paper, which are references will also be included.
* 3-5 passages from the primary work (short story)"Sonny's Blues" by James Baldwin LITERATURE (A Portable Anthology) by Gardner, Lawn, Ridl and Schakel pages 220-247
* 3-5 passages from the secondary sources (work cited)
I. - Introduction to Author and subject
A) Background info about author his working and the story in question.
B) Thesis statement.
II. Short synopsis (summary) of the story.
A) Character and narrator identified and their relationship defined.
B) Main action, including the conflict is described 1) location 2) time frame 3) specific symbolic of allegorical meanings.
C) The resolution of the conflict is discussed. What happens and why?
III. Analysis of the action for moral center.
A) What position does the narrator take?
B) Is there a right/wrong of other cultural taboo or barriers that is challenged?
C) Are there any winners or losers?
D) What message does the writer wants to convey? And why?

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Works Cited:

Works Cited

Baldwin, James. "Sonny's Blues." Literature: A Portable Anthology. Eds. Gardner et al. 220-

Baldwin, James. "Sonny's Blues." Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama.

Eds. X.J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia. 4th Compact ed. New York: Pearson Longman, 2005.


Thorell, Tsomondo, "No Other Tale to Tell: 'Sonny's Blues' and 'Waiting for the Rain'."

Studies in Contemporary Fiction. Mar. 1, 1995. Transcript. Electric Library. Community Coll. Of S. Nevada Lib., Las Vegas. 25 Nov. 2004. http://www.elibrary.com/s/edumark/.

Tracey, Sherard. "Sonny's Bebop: Baldwin's 'Blues Text' as Intracultural Critique."

African-American Review. Jan. 1, 1998. Transcript. Electric Library. Community Coll. Of S. Nevada Lib., Las Vegas. 25 Nov. 2004. http://www.elibrary.com/s/edumark/.

Vafiadis, Gina. "Response Paper on 'Sonny's Blues'." Introduction to Literature. 25 Nov.

2004 http://www. 2street.com/eng84/paper.sonny.htm.

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