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.
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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