Sonny's Blues

Black Masculinity As Constructed Through Baldwin

James Baldwin provides several constructions of black masculinity through his two texts Everybody's Protest Novel and Sonny's Blues. Since this essay is comparing works from the same author, it is essential to look at what these constructions are and also the consistency of them within his work. For the purpose of viewing black masculinity as a construct, Everybody's Protest Novel serves as the basis for which this construct is viewed in the two main characters of Sonny's Blues. Through this analysis, Baldwin will be held up to the standard of his own work - a standard which he has created for himself. The way that Baldwin constructs the characters of Sonny's Blues is contingent upon his discussion of "the protest novel" and also how he constructs the differences between true images of the Negro and the falsely constructed images in texts such as Uncle Tom's Cabin. Sonny and the narrator are depictions of the ideal and faltering constructions of black masculinity in Baldwin's Sonny's Blues.

Everybody's Protest Novel is a criticism of the portrayal of the Negro in literature. Baldwin uses the behavior of the black characters in Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin as...

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