“I think people ought to do what they want to do, what else are they alive for. (49)” This thought is what is reflected in both “Sonny’s Blues” by James Baldwin and “Paul’s Case” by Willa Cather. Both Baldwin and Cather illustrate the problem of a young man growing up and taking on the responsibility of finding out who they are and what they want out of life. In these stories the theme is
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the life that he wanted.
Overall, both stories reflect how people have their lives influenced from different sources. In "Sonny's Blues" Sonny was influenced by his brother, Harlem, and his love for music. In "Paul's Case" his father, his teachers, Cordelia Street, and his love for the good life influenced Paul. Ultimately, both boys made the right choice in deciding what kind of life they wanted for themselves and limited the influence from other places.