Literary Devices In The Scarlet Ibis, By James Hurst

1200 Words5 Pages

Dana Abrarova
Mrs. Parent
English 9B
February 3, 2023

The Scarlet Ibis

“For a long long time, it seemed forever, I lay there crying, sheltering my fallen scarlet ibis from the heresy of rain.” (Hurst 391-392). The short story, The Scarlet Ibis, is about a invalid younger brother who was trying to exceed the expectations of the narrator, the older brother. However, the narrator's pride caught up to the younger brother and that led to destruction. The author uses many literary devices to build the overall mood of the story.
In the short story, The Scarlet Ibis, by James Hurst, the author uses flashbacks, foreshadowing, and characters' thoughts to develop the melancholic and remorseful mood of the story. One way that Hurst develops the mood …show more content…

The narrator talks about how hard it is to have an invalid brother. To the point where it affects his pride and he feels constantly embarrassed and bitter that he decided to take it upon himself to make his brother more normal. “It was bad enough having an invalid brother, but having one who possibly was not all there was unbearable, so I began to make plans to kill him by smothering him with a pillow.”(Hurst 39-41). This shows that because of his pride he was even thinking about killing his brother because he was different, and that he had different expectations of him than he should have. This also shows that he was so embarrassed and talked about killing him, which was foreshadowed in the beginning of the story. Another example where Hurst uses character thoughts to portray emotion is when the narrator talks about how hard it is to stay happy and full of pride when the narrator had nothing to be proud of in Doodle. Therefore, the narrator decided that he would make Doodle something he is proud of. “It seemed so hopeless from the beginning that it’s a miracle I didn’t give up. But all of us must have something or someone 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.” (Hurst 141-144). This quote tells the reader that having higher expectations of Doodle had made the narrator feel more remorseful to have someone normal in his life, it made the narrator think that pride could be a “wonderful, terrible thing, a seed that bears two vines, life and death.”. This means that pride to the narrator is the same as the meaning of life, and the same as the meaning of death. This therefore brings an element of sadness and how life and death are the double side of a knife. Last example of how Hurst uses characters' thoughts to develop mood is when the narrator expected absolutely

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