The Scarlet Ibis Literary Analysis Essay

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Literary Analysis: The Scarlet Ibis
Why do we hurt the ones we love? This question is examined in the short story “The Scarlet Ibis” by James Hurst. In the story, the narrator recounts past occurrences with Doodle, his younger brother. Due to Doodle being a sickly child, he was unable to do many things most normal kids his age could do. The narrator became ashamed of his brother and tried to resolve the problem by pushing Doodle past his limits. The narrator’s pride and selfish intentions eventually bring about the ultimate death of Doodle, showing that selfish pride generally causes more harm than good. By analyzing the story, it is easy to see that the theme that “spiteful cruelty toward a loved one often stems from wounded pride” is revealed
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It is true that Doodle learned how to walk because of the narrator’s constant attempts. James Hurst writes, “Finally one day, after many weeks of practicing, he stood alone for a few seconds, I grabbed him in my arms and hugged him . . .” (467) The narrator’s efforts in getting Doodle to walk were met with success and an outpouring of emotions from his Daddy, Mama and Aunt.
However, the root of the narrator’s action came from the embarrassment of Doodle not being able to walk at the age of five. “They did not know that I did it for myself; that pride, whose slave I was, spoke to me louder than all their voices, and that Doodle walked only because I was ashamed of having a crippled brother” (Hurst 468). The narrator was ashamed of his brother who couldn’t do what others around him could. The narrator’s motivation was his selfish pride and shame.
The narrator was at times brutal to Doodle because of the embarrassment and shame that blinded him to Doodle’s limitations which led to the dire consequences that arose due to his thoughtless actions. His love for Doodle was overridden by his selfish pride and thus cruelty was born. In the story “The Scarlet Ibis” by James Hurst, the theme that “spiteful cruelty toward a loved one often stems from wounded pride” is revealed through the narrator and the cruelty he exhibited towards Doodle in moments of anger and

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