Literary Analysis Essay On The Scarlet Ibis

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“The Scarlet Ibis” Literary Analysis Essay As the protagonist unfolds his tale, he paints a picture of himself initially as a malevolent force, planning the smothering death of his crippled brother, to a bully, force-teaching Doodle to walk to satisfy his own ends, and finally a neglectful older brother whose acts lead to Doodle’s demise. It is the central event of his brother’s death that gives full meaning to the title, “The Scarlet Ibis.” In this short story by James Hurst, the author conveys the Narrator’s guilt over Doodle’s life and, more importantly, his death. Due to his hurtful actions, inflicted upon Doodle throughout his life, the Narrator feels deep shame for what he has caused. Through the elements of foreshadowing and dialogue, Hurst’s narration reveals the protagonist’s guilt, emphasizing his deep regret over his actions regarding his crippled brother. The Narrator foreshadows the eventual climax of the story through his words regarding his views of pride. He states, “But all of us must have something to be proud of, and Doodle had become mine. I did not know then that pride is a wonderful, terrible thing, a seed that bears two vines, life and death” (p.558). With these words, the Narrator reflects on the events and the insights that he gained …show more content…

Hurst uses foreshadowing in the form of the Narrator’s internal dialogue (i.e. “I did not know then that pride is a wonderful, terrible thing, a seed that bears two vines, life and death”), as well as the dialogue between the Narrator and Doodle (i.e. “‘I’m going to teach you to walk, Doodle […] so I won’t have to haul you around all the time’”), to illustrate his guilt. Both elements support the idea that the narrator’s guilt is due to his pride throughout the story, and the Narrator understands and acknowledges that he harmed and ultimately killed Doodle. Thus, the Narrator becomes the storm that kills the Scarlet Ibis: his crippled

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