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ALHS Hum11 Per. 5
Thursday, 21 May 2009
"Sonny's Blues" Blog Assignment Instructions

After reading "Sonny's Blues," post at least one comment to one of the following posts. Feel free to post multiple times, to respond not only to the prompts I give you but to the comments of your classmates as well.

To earn credit for this, you must (1) post your comment before class on Tuesday, (2) post a earnest comment in the form of one or more well-developed paragraphs, and (3) add your name to the comment so I know it's you.

Posted by jcorey2 at 12:46 AM EDT
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"Sonny's Blues" throught the Buddhist Lens

Looking at this story through the "Buddhist Lens," one might make some interesting observations about suffering. Where in the story do you see suffering? How is it dealt with, both positively and negatively? What roles do family, community, and art have to do with suffering in the story? What is each character "attached" to that contributes to his suffering? 

Buddhism: The Four Noble Truths:

  1. Suffering exists
  2. Suffering arises from attachment
  3. Suffering ceases when attachment ceases
  4. Freedom from suffering is possible by practicing the Eightfold Path

    Eightfold Path

(Wisdom)       Right View
Right Thought

(Morality)        Right Speech
Right Action
Right Livelihood
Right Effort

(Meditation)   Right Mindfulness
Right Contemplation


Posted by jcorey2 at 12:44 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 27 May 2009 7:54 AM EDT
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"Sonny's Blues" - Students and Teachers
Explore the roles of teacher and student in this story. The narrator is a teacher, yet he finds himself in the role of a student in the story as well. Explore this idea. What doesn't he understand? What does he learn? What does he struggle with understanding? How does he finally get it? Etc?

Posted by jcorey2 at 12:43 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 21 May 2009 1:06 AM EDT
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"Sonny's Blues" - So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.

Track how the past exerts control over the present of the two main characters. What from their past controls them? How does each of them respond to this? How aware of this are they?  How can one view the past’s influence on these characters—and us—in both positive and negative ways?

Posted by jcorey2 at 12:41 AM EDT
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"Sonny's Blues" - The Road to Redemption

Each of the two main characters seems concerned with the concept of redemption. To seek redemption is to try to make up for something wrong you’ve done, to make things right, to atone for your guilt. Track the redemptive path taken by the main characters. What makes them believe redemption is both needed and/or possible? How will each be redeemed?

Posted by jcorey2 at 12:40 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, 25 May 2009 7:07 PM EDT
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