Self-Esteem In The Scarlet Ibis By James Hurst: Literary Analysis

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Throughout the world, more than eighty five percent of people have or are affected by low self esteem. In the short story, “The Scarlet Ibis” by James Hurst, it clearly shows the theme that others should not influence all of one’s thoughts and actions. Doodle is a child born with disabilities and his brother, the narrator, supports him and helps him find a place to fit into society and to achieve self-esteem throughout the story. Self-esteem is found negatively and positively in both the narrator and Doodle.

Doodle and the narrator are affected by self-esteem negatively. When Doodle is being helped by the narrator, he has troubles keeping up at the narrator's pace and ends up getting frustrated and deterred: “Once, he could go no further, so he collapsed on the ground and began to cry” (Hurst 164). Since the narrator continued to walk quicker than Doodle, it clearly shows that Doodle lacks enough self-esteem to tell his brother to advance slower or to stop. Not only does this clarify Doodles self-esteem deficiency, but it shows that he’s not even strong enough to stand up to his own brother. In the end, Doodles lack of self-esteem leads to his demise because he pushed his body too far without protesting. Also, the narrator has opposite traits when it relates to self-esteem and can come off as arrogant towards Doodle: “I ran as fast as I could, leaving him behind with a wall of rain dividing
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Not only is this theme shown during the duration of “The Scarlet Ibis”, but it clarifies the distinct positive and negative effects of self-esteem. Doodle and the narrator have shown multiple times throughout the story, positive and negative actions relating to self-esteem. All in all, to face the difficulties throughout life, one must have confidence, be true to one’s character, and most of all to have a balanced sense of
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