The Perception of Ignorance

In: English and Literature

Submitted By hmichelle97
Words 1918
Pages 8
The Perception of Ignorance When it comes to culture and identity ignorance can play an important role between success and failure. The stories below will provide examples of how our ignorance as a society can determine how we perceive others as well as how we are perceived by others.
Sonny’s Blues Sonny’s Blues is a short story that illustrates the ignorance of the narrator to his Brother Sonny’s dream of becoming a jazz musician. The narrator thinks that life flows on the ability to just make a living that people do not have to find happiness in working to live. However, this way of thinking is different for Sonny, For example, the narrator says “Well, look, Sonny, I’m sorry, don’t get mad. I just don’t altogether get it, that’s all. Name somebody—you know, a jazz musician you admire.” (Baldwin, 1957, pg.575). Sonny responds with “Bird” (Baldwin, 1957, pg.575) and the narrator responds with “who?” After lighting a cigarette and taking a step back from the conversation, the narrator realizes how out of touch from society he has become. He is shocked and entertained by the fact that his body is trembling. The narrator tells Sonny that he will have to be patient with his ignorance on who Charlie Parker is (Baldwin, 1957, pg.575). This is Sonny’s world through his own eyes and this is what happiness is to him, the culture of jazz playing is his identity. As stated above, Sonny relates to jazz in ways that the narrator cannot understand. The narrator’s ignorance of Sonny’s feelings and desires effects his ability to relate to Sonny and challenges his connection as a brother. The narrator and Sonny have been physically together growing up and living in the same places, however, mentally they have never been on the same wave length. Now the narrator has to take a step back and try to reconnect with Sonny on his level. For example, the narrator has never…...

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