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Sonny’s Blues” Reader response
Due Tuesday, Sept. 6th by 11:59pm
The human condition in literature: any thematic* issue/concern about human nature, human
society, or how we live our lives. In other words, it’s about the challenges within the situations
which make up the basics of human existence, such as birth, growth, emotions, hopes, conflict,
*Thematic = themes in a story that point to/demonstrate challenges or problems that characters
face in his/her life.
How do the challenges/issues that make up the human condition allow both Sonny and the
narrator to discover and express their identities? Do each character’s identities change as the
Directions: in an essay between 3-5 pages, answer the above prompt/topic. Please use
quotes/examples from the essay and be sure to cite the text. Essay is due on Tuesday, Sept. 6th
by 11:59pm. PLEASE pay attention to all directions in this handout:
Ideas to think & write about:
How We Live Our Lives
-How do we deal with alienation from those around us?
-Should we conform or be original?
-How do we become adults? What is the process of maturation?
-What is the relationship between different generations or genders?
-How do we deal with excessive poverty or wealth?
-Are the characters and personalities of Sonny and the narrator determined by their genetic
structure, environment, or do they have free will?
-Are Sonny and the narrator born with inherited traits or are they born with nothing, like a “blank
-What’s more important for Sonny and the narrator? Law and order or freedom? Why? Explain
1. Please upload your essay onto Canvas no later than 11:59pm on Tuesday, Sept. 6th
2. NO late or emailed essays will be accepted. Essays not sent through Canvas
Assignments will be looked at or graded.