The Scarlet Ibis By James Hurst: Character Analysis

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Start with a question. Can someone be both a loving sibling and a bad and evil one? In the story “The Scarlet Ibis”, James Hurst introduces readers to Brother and his little brother, Doodle. Readers learn of their lives and sibling relationship. One learns about their lives as young children and the struggles they went through every day. Sibling dynamics of pride, love and self-centered concerns take over the flow of their daily lives. In the end, which side will be revealed? Is Brother a loving, prideful, and malicious companion to his younger brother, Doodle? Some people think that Brother is a loving brother because he took care of Doodle. Doodle was born physically disabled; Brother knew that his little brother wouldn’t want to be confined, so he carried him around a lot in a cart. One example of when Brother was caring was when he figured out that Doodle would be with him forever by saying “I dragged him across the burning cotton field to share with him the only beauty I knew, Old Woman Swamp” (Hurst 556). He showed Doodle his favorite spot enabling Doodle to experience more of life like sitting in the grass, and that way he wouldn’t have to be pulled around all day. When Doodle was five years old, Brother decided that he was going to teach his brother how to walk. “Oh, you can walk, I said, and I took him by the arms…show more content…
While teaching Doodle to walk, Brother didn’t understand “that pride is a wonderful, terrible thing, a seed that bears two vines, life and death” (Hurst 558). Although Brother had pride in what Doodle was doing, “pride, whose slave I was, spoke to me louder than all their voices” (Hurst 559). Brother became more prideful of his own accomplishments than Doodle’s, demonstrating that even the good things in life have two sides. Embarrassed by having a crippled brother, being a slave to pride had a hold over him to soothe his discomfort, uneasiness, awkwardness, and
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