Flashback In The Scarlet Ibis

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The past is a time where most do not want to look back upon. It holds the memories of our blunders and triumphs, but most often the former is remembered with much more clarity than the latter. For the narrator of our story, his mistakes were clear as day. In the short story “The Scarlet Ibis”, the author, James Hurst, utilizes the literary elements of flashback and dialogue to convey to the reader that throughout the story, the narrator feels guilt for his previous actions. Hurst does so by selecting key words with negative connotations to describe the narrator’s feelings in retrospect, as well as using dialogue to show that the narrator clearly remembers every wrongdoing he has done leading up to Doodle’s death. There are various instances throughout the narrative that Hurst has the narrator…show more content…
What he found did not please him, and he panics upon his discovery of Doodle’s limp body, crying out for him as he held Doodle in his arms. The narrator calls for Doodle, saying “Let’s go, Doodle” (564). Upon not receiving an answer, he lifts his head to discover Doodle “had been bleeding from the mouth, and his neck and front of his shirt were stained a brilliant red” (564). The narrator cries out “Doodle! Doodle!” (564) all the while shielding him from the rain, the final consequence of the pride that ruled the life of the narrator. His guilt from not saving or waiting for Doodle is evident in the way he reacts to Doodle’s body. He panics, realizing the mistake he made in leaving Doodle behind, repeatedly calling out his name as if calling for him to wake up. When it sinks in that Doodle is truly gone, the narrator weeps for Doodle, crying “for a long time, it seemed forever, [he] lay there crying, sheltering [his] fallen scarlet ibis from the heresy of rain” (564), knowing he would never get Doodle
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