The Scarlet Ibis is a short story written by James Hurst. The story is about a boy named Doodle who is born with a heart condition. His brother, an unnamed narrator, tries to help him survive and grow up.
The saying goes, “you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone”. The narrator’s feelings in “The Scarlet Ibis” by James Hurst alters after his younger brother Doodle passes away. The speaker, who we only ever refer to as Brother, never shows kindness towards Doodle during their childhood because of Doodle’s struggles with physical disabilities.
It is not until Doodle dies that Brother realizes how much he loved and needed his brother. The saying “you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone” is significant to the story because it helps to illustrate the point that people do not always realize the true value of something until it is gone.
The Scarlet Ibis is a short story that was published in The Atlantic Monthly in 1960. The story tells the tale of two young brothers growing up in the early 1900s in the American South. The older brother, who is never given a name, is unkind to his younger brother Doodle because of Doodle’s physical disabilities. The brothers are very close in age, and they spend a lot of time together.
One summer, the older brother is determined to teach Doodle how to walk. The brother is patient with Doodle, and eventually Doodle is able to take a few steps on his own. The brother is thrilled with Doodle’s progress and the two of them spend more time together than ever before.
However, one day when they are out playing together, Doodle has a seizure and dies. The older brother is devastated by his death. It is only then that he realizes how much he loved and needed his younger brother.
The story ends with the older brother reflecting on his memories of Doodle. He remembers all of the good times they had together, and he regrets that he was not always kind to his brother.
The Scarlet Ibis is a touching story about the love between two brothers. It is a reminder that we should always cherish the people we love, because we never know when they might be gone.
The younger brother, scared that he might be mocked at school for having an disabled sibling, begins training and teaching Doodle physical activities in order to protect him. The emotions of the older brother change from childhood hatred to remorse as he remembers the circumstances that triggered his distaste.
The story concludes with Doodle’s funeral and the brother’s newfound guilt. The Scarlet Ibis is a short story written by James Hurst. Themes in The Scarlet Ibis include love, family, death, and regret.
The Scarlet Ibis is a very heartwarming story that teaches valuable life lessons. The main theme of the story is love. The brother in the story loves Doodle very much, even though he may not realize it at first. The brother is willing to do anything for Doodle, even if it means putting himself in danger. The second theme is family. The brother and Doodle are extremely close, despite the fact that they are not blood related.
They are more like friends than brothers. The third theme is death. The story ends with the death of Doodle, which causes the brother to feel great remorse and guilt. The fourth and final theme is regret. The brother regrets not spending more time with Doodle and not appreciating him while he was alive.
Brother begins to form a dislike for Doodle when he cannot meet the expectations that Brother has set. All Brother ever wanted was “[s]omeone to race to Horsehead Landing, someone to box with, and someone tot perch with in the top fork of the great pine behind the barn” (Hurst 30-34), but no matter how hard he tried, Doodle could never fulfill those wishes.
The first real sign of Brother not wanting Doodle around was when he left Doodle behind at the junkyard. The second sign was when he refused to let Doodle go with him and Red Sammy to the pond to fish. The third sign, which is also the climax of the story, is when Brother shouts “I hate you. I wish you were dead” (Hurst 41).
Doodle did everything he could to try and please his brother. He ran with Brother even though it made him tired. He tried to perch on top of a tree even though he was scared of heights. The final straw for Doodle was when he tried to fly like a Scarlet Ibis and ended up breaking his neck and dying.
When Brother clutches Doodle’s body, it’s evident that he is sorry. He hangs on to Doodle’s remains and tries to protect them from the rain and the rest of the world, as opposed to leaving him behind in the past. His feelings for Doodle have changed from childless loathing to remorse for his actions since Brother altered his behavior.
The most important change that is seen in Brother is his relationships with others. The first sign of this is when Doodle starts to walk. He teaches Doodle how to walk, despite not wanting anything to do with him. The second sign is when they go out into the fields and Doodle gets stung by a bee. brother runs to get the medicinal supplies, even though he had been planning on leaving Doodle behind. The final sign is when Doodle dies. Initially, Brother wanted nothing to do with Doodle, but by the end he was remorseful for his actions.”
The tone of guilt is also evident in the afterthought in the story after Brother finishes telling an event. For example, he reveals that he “taught Doodle how to walk for himself… and that Doodle walked only because [he] was ashamed of having a crippled brother” (182-184). Because he regrets treating Doodle the way he did, he laments about his past actions and paints an ashamed tone over the events.
The story also features a few short sentences which also emphasize the regretful tone. The words “I am sorry” are repeated six times throughout the story, always in connection to Doodle (193, 196, 198). The last time these words appear is just before the climax of the story. The phrase appears three times in succession, each time getting softer until they nearly become a whisper (198).
The narrator uses this soft language to contrast the loud way he used to speak to Doodle, emphasizing his guilt over how he used to treat him. The final example of language choice that reveals the theme of regret is James Hurst’s use of onomatopoeia. Onomatopoeia is defined as “the formation of a word from a sound associated with what is named” (Merriam-Webster). The sound of rain is described as “pattering gently on the leaves and tapping softly on the window panes” (200).
The use of soft words like “gentle” and “softly” again emphasize the regretful tone of the story. The sound of rain has always been seen as soothing, and its presence in the story provides a moment of silence for Doodle and Brother to reflect on their actions. The sound of rain also calls back to an earlier event in the story.