Expectations In The Scarlet Ibis By James Hurst

458 Words2 Pages
“When you have expectations you are setting yourself up for disappointment” (Ryan Reynolds). In James Hurst’s short story “The Scarlet Ibis” Doodle learns how to deal with the unreasonable expectations Brother composes for him. These expectations aid him for the time being, but become useless in the end. Being born into a set of expectations may have benefits, but can ultimately be ineffective. The assumptions Doodle was born into caused his success to seem more than extraordinary. For example, Brother’s motivator to teach Doodle is his embarrassment, but he still succeeds.”When Doodle was five years old, I was embarrassed at having a brother that age who couldn’t walk, so I set out to teach him”(2). Although Brother is not teaching Doodle for the right reason, Doodle still prospers. Doodles ongoing success causes Brother’s pride to become unsatisfied and it craves for more achievement.…show more content…
For instance, when Doodle was born his parents were expecting a baby who would die soon, “Daddy had Mr.Heath, the carpenter, build a little mahogany coffin for him”(1). The way Doodles parents act toward his disabilities makes it seem like they would rather have him die then deal with him. The expectations they set for him are so low that when Brother has high expectations for Doodle, he goes beyond his capabilities to reach them. Furthermore, Brother helps Doodle succeed, but he eventually leads him to his downfall.” The knowledge that Doodle’s and my plans had come to naught was bitter, and that a streak of cruelty within me awakened”(6). Brother is so motivated by his pride that he is willing to leave Doodle alone, after pushing him further than he ever has. By leaving Doodle, Brother is sabotaging Doodle’s life in order to reach the goal Doodle and he set out to reach. The eventual demise of Doodle is unintentionally orchestrated by Brother due to his great
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