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Drug Abuse in Sonny's Blues and The Paradise of Bachelor’s and Tartarus of Maids: Critical Analysis

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Drug abuse is extremely prevalent in our society today and has increased tremendously due to the controversy of whether some drugs should be legalized in our country or not. As a result, it can be argued that drug abuse is very harmful to people and should be controlled and dealt with accordingly.

First, drug abuse results in the destruction of the user's health. When using drugs, it may lead to serious medical complications and even cancer. The user eventually reaches a point where they can no longer function without the use of drugs which eventually results in them relying on centers for rehabilitation or hospitals. According to research, the most affected population is the youth. This leads them to waste their most crucial years of life which may destroy their relationships with friends and family, miss out on career opportunities, and even ruin their physical and mental health.

In comparison, 'Sonny's Blues' by James Baldwin conveys a central theme which is surrounded by drugs that impact both the users and loved ones. In the story, the heroine destroys their lives, families, and artistic talent. The jazz musician turned to heroin and drug dealing to cope with his depression and harsh physical environments. This coping mechanism offers a momentary escape and also helps deal with the human suffering which surrounds him.

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But it can be argued that drug abuse isn’t harmful at all because people use drugs not as a coping mechanism, but as a way to have fun and relax. This eventually leads people to become advocates for the legalization of certain drugs such as marijuana. Some people claim it will reduce crime, create job opportunities, and promote consumer safety. So, if people are given more accessibility to the drug it would most likely result in a greater usage of the drug. In addition, this would lead teens and young children to become more susceptible to encountering and using drugs. With that being said, drug abuse is harmful and not safe. If we encourage drug use, it will cause more negative problems in our society.

In contrast, Melville’s “The Paradise of bachelor’s and Tartarus of Maids” does not contain the use of drug and alcohol abuse. Instead, most of the first sketch describes the narrator sharing dinner with nine of the other bachelors. This elaborate meal contains frequent drinking, but not in an irresponsible way. Instead, alcohol is used in a social manor and is used only in social settings or gatherings. In the story, the bachelors only drink if they are all going to drink. “The very perfection of quiet absorption of good living, good drinking, good feeling, and good talk.” This storyline is mainly pertaining to drinking in moderation, which is best.

In conclusion, the harmful effects of drug abuse are pertinent. Our society must recognize the immoral and selfish values that they are trying to expose the youth to. We need to inform and aid in the reduction of drug abuse in order to protect and save the youth from harmful drug and alcohol addiction. For example, the development of youth projects would allow them to maintain positive and goal-oriented mindsets, which in addition would prevent them from abusing drugs or other substances.

Works Cited

  1. Holliman, Chloe, and Chloe Holliman. “Surviving and Suffering:” Medium, World Literature, 1 Dec. 2015,
  2. Traynelis, Josh, et al. Literature and Technology,
  3. “Marijuana Legalization and Regulation.” Drug Policy Alliance,
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Drug Abuse in Sonny’s Blues and The Paradise of Bachelor’s and Tartarus of Maids: Critical Analysis. (2022, August 12). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 8, 2023, from
“Drug Abuse in Sonny’s Blues and The Paradise of Bachelor’s and Tartarus of Maids: Critical Analysis.” Edubirdie, 12 Aug. 2022,
Drug Abuse in Sonny’s Blues and The Paradise of Bachelor’s and Tartarus of Maids: Critical Analysis. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 8 Dec. 2023].
Drug Abuse in Sonny’s Blues and The Paradise of Bachelor’s and Tartarus of Maids: Critical Analysis [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Aug 12 [cited 2023 Dec 8]. Available from:
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