Scarlet Ibis Symbolism

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The author of The “Scarlet Ibis”, James Hurst, symbolizes Doodle with the scarlet ibis in a number of different ways. To begin, when describing the looks of the scarlet ibis, the author writes, “At that moment the bird began to flutter, but the wings were uncoordinated, and amid much flapping and a spray of flying feathers, it tumbled down, bumping through the limbs of the bleeding tree and landing at our feet with a thud.” With this description, the reader pictures the bird limp and lifeless on the ground in a mangled heap. The bird bleeds as it falls out of the tree, as it helplessly descends from the branch. The author describes Doodle in much the same way, and he uses some of the same words to do so when he writes, “Limply, he fell backwards onto the earth. He…show more content…
His little legs, bent sharply at the knees, had never before seemed so fragile, so thin.” The author describes Doodle very similarly. He explains in detail, the limpness of Doodle’s limbs, just as the scarlet ibis. Also, Hurst uses the word, limp, in both descriptions to describe the bird and Doodle, and he also describes, in detail, the bloodiness of each of their bodies. To continue, Doodle seems very sorrowful, much more sorrowful than his family, after the scarlet ibis shows up in their yard. After the scarlet ibis died, Doodle claims that he wants to bury it, but his mom doesn’t allow him to touch the bird. Doodle finds a way to bury the scarlet ibis anyway. The author writes, “He took out a piece of string from his pocket and, without touching the ibis, looped one end around its neck. Slowly, while singing softly "Shall We Gather at the River," he carried the bird around to the front yard and dug a hole in the flower garden, next to the petunia bed.” This introduces the correlation between the scarlet ibis and Doodle, because of how intrigued and how much he cares about the scarlet
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