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Professor Zachary LaMalfa
28 April 2018
Misconceptions Of Narcotics
In both "Sonny Blues" and "The Swimmer", the main characters are in some form of
confinement whether it be physical or within themselves. Sonny is in physical confinement
whereas, Neddy is mentally confined. Sonny is in physical confinement for the usage and
distribution of drugs whereas Neddy's confinement is derived from the usage of Alcohol. Sonny
and Neddy are in jail for the same cause and this cause stems from their relationship with drugs.
Sonny's relation and reliance for drugs can be comprehended from his perception: "It
makes you feel - in control. Sometimes you've got to have that feeling" (Baldwin 195). Since
Sonny is being held in solitary confinement, he has little to no control of his present nor future.
His past led him to his current situation, where he didn't have much control over himself. His
relation to narcotics can be understood by his appreciation for it. Although Sonny uses drugs to
make himself feel as if he has some form of control over his life, his acknowledgment of having
no control over his life and then the usage of narcotics leads him to solitary confinement. Sonny
sees drugs as a future for himself as it gives him the ability to have control and without it he
loses this control.
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