NGCW-Chapter 9


All exercises are taken from Alice LaPlante’s  The Making of a Story: A Norton Guide to Creative Writing (NGCW).

Sonny’s Blues by James Baldwin

1. What effect is created by telling certain aspects of the story ‘out of sequence’? How would this be a different story if the events were simply told in chronological order?

The basic story is different from the basic plot in that the story is told out of sequence, in order to have the greatest impact on the reader. The flashbacks in the end add depth to the story, forcing the readers to ask questions like ‘why’ and ‘how’ instead of ‘and then.’

2. Is there an epiphany in this story? Do any of the characters change in any way? If yes, explain how.

The characters do not necessarily change but come alive. The main character starts the story with one perspective of his brother and ends with another. As a result, Sonny as a person comes alive and becomes fully dimensional through the narrator’s epiphany of who he is.

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