Essay on Sonny’s Blues or Two Kinds
Choose ONE of the following topics. Write a 4-5 paragraph essay addressing your topic. Your essay should be
in MLA form. (Don’t forget your heading, in-text citation, works cited, and page numbers.) Be sure to give
specific support for your argument from the story.
1) Choose one of the scenes from “Sonny’s Blues” listed below. Why is this scene important? What element(s)
of the story does it address (plot, theme, character, setting)? How?
a) The mother telling the story of Sonny’s father’s brother (Sonny’s uncle) (259-61)
b) Sonny playing the piano at Isabel’s parents’ house (264-66)
2) Why is this story called “Sonny’s Blues”? Do you think this is an appropriate title for this story? Why
or why not?
3) Choose one of the scenes from “Two Kinds” listed below. Why is this scene important to the story? What
element(s) of the story does it address (plot, theme, character, setting)? How?
a) Jing-Mei playing the piano at the recital (387-89)
b) When Jing-Mei’s mother offers her the piano for her thirtieth birthday (390)
4) Jing-Mei is the narrator of “Two Kinds.” How does her role as a first-person narrator impact the story?
Is she a reliable narrator? Do we get a fair picture of her mother?
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