Scarlet Ibis Analysis

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H “Expectations is the root of all heartache.” - William Shakespeare. The short story “Scarlet Ibis” by James Hurst explores how the protagonist, Doodle copes with the expectations his family have set on him; precisely his elder brother. Throughout this short story, Hurst demonstrates the substantial effect expectation has on individual and society themselves. He shows how pressurizing a person for self-satisfaction harms the offender as well. Hurst suggests that expectations are also a form of egotism that can lead to resentment; hence coming into conflict with one’s identity, such as alteration and remorse. Doodle’s desire was to be loved and supported by his family. He was invalid - he could not walk; thus everyone had low expectations towards him and thought he would die except for Aunt Nicey. His brother (the narrator) tried to kill him as he saw him an unbearable disappointment and his father had built him a mahogany coffin. For instance, “It was I who renamed him [...] Crawling backwards made him look like a Doodlebug, […] because nobody expects much from someone called Doodle.” Society’s attentiveness is predominantly towards the aspects of and in this story Doodle’s impairment seemed to have negative impacts on him that the society has caused. His brother saw him as a burden in many ways. Doodle must be treated gently as he was forbidden from certain activities and conditions, at the same time he was embarrassed to have a crippled brother at the age
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