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Five Page Paper #1

Five Page Paper #1 - Meyer1 Rebecca Meyer Professor Cabusao...

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Meyer 1 Rebecca Meyer Professor Cabusao LCS 121 14 October 2009 The Constant Struggle of Conflict Once World War II ended, society in America changed. Whether society had changed for the better or worse is still a question yet to be answered. One major difference that was noticeable about America after World War II ended is that America had become more diversified. Literature that has been published after the war is different from that published in the pre war era in several aspects. Pre war literature was more conservative whereas post war literature is focused on topics such as homosexuality, racism, feminism, drinking, and drugs. In modern literature where these issues are present, there are many conflicts, which can either be personal or social. In “Sonny’s Blues” by James Baldwin, Hisaye Yamamoto’s “Seventeen Syllables,” and A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry, the main characters of Sonny and the narrator, Rosie, and Walter all struggle with several personal and social conflicts relating to the changing times of post war society. One issue that really bothers Sonny’s brother in “Sonny’s Blues” is the fact that black and white soldiers can fight a war together, but cannot come home and live with one another and socialize. Sonny’s brother is so troubled by this separation that he tries to assimilate into the white society of New York City by teaching algebra in a primarily white school district. Not only is Sonny’s brother fighting to assimilate into society, he is “a conservative black teacher [who] narrates his attempts to comprehend the alienated perspective of his brother Sonny, an unemployed jazz pianist and occasional heroin user” (enotes.com). Changing society and
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Meyer 2 Sonny’s poor relationship with his brother pushes him to experiment and become addicted to drugs, drop out of school, and find a love for music. Ultimately, he does not want to assimilate into the American culture as his brother has been trying to do, being the ultimate conflict for Sonny. Because Sonny and his brother are so different, they are pushed apart and do not speak to each other for several years. The two brothers “were growing up with a rush and their heads bumped abruptly against the low ceiling of their actual possibilities. They were filled with rage (Norton Introduction to Literature 48).” The fact that they have been pushed apart is a major personal conflict in both brothers’ lives Since Sonny’s brother is the older of the two, he feels that Sonny is his responsibility and should have taken better care of him. Sonny faces several problems with drugs and has an
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Five Page Paper #1 - Meyer1 Rebecca Meyer Professor Cabusao...

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