Would it matter if this were the tale of brothers living in Memphis, one whom is a country recording artist?
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In my opinion, the setting of the story makes an incredible difference. Sonny's Blues is set in Harlem during the years just after the Civil Rights Movement. Things had changed.... but not drastically. One brother escapes the neighborhood he grew up, taking the opportunities that were offered and bettering his life. The other brother falls victim to his neighborhood succumbing to gangs and drugs. What we're really talking about is environment. I'm sure a similar story could be written about two brothers and set in Memphis.... but I also believe it would be very different.