The Scarlet Ibis Pride Essay

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A Brother’s Pride
Pride is a feeling of fulfillment, a feeling of satisfaction from one’s achievements. In James Hurst’s short story, The Scarlet Ibis, the theme that pride has the power to blind is prevalent throughout the story. The narrator is the main target of this theme as his overbearing pride leads to the demise of his younger brother. However, the power that pride has over people can bring both a positive and negative outcome. For example, having pride in one’s work can boost self-esteem and convince people of important values in life; whereas too much pride can lead to arrogance and isolation. Hurst communicates the theme, pride has the power to blind, with the use of these three literary devices: symbolism, flashback, and man vs.
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Nearing the end of the story, during the death of Doodle, the use of symbolism is evident. Doodle’s brother narrates, “He lay very awkwardly, with his head thrown far back, making his vermillion neck appear unusually long and slim. His little legs, bent sharply at the knees, had never before seemed so fragile, so thin... I began to weep, and the tear-blurred vision before me looked very familiar. ‘Doodle!’ I screamed… For a long, long time, it seemed forever, I lay there crying sheltering my fallen scarlet ibis from the heresy of rain.” (Hurst 426). The way the narrator details his brother’s body is an exact description of the scarlet ibis’ dead body. For example, the scarlet ibis is red, its neck is long, and its legs are curved, just like Doodle’s dead body. Moreover, the narrator refers to Doodle as “my fallen scarlet ibis” which shows that the scarlet ibis symbolizes Doodle. After the death of his brother, the narrator realizes his error. His pride is what kills his brother, blinding him from Doodle’s struggles. He and the readers are taught a lesson as pride is a strong emotion that must be managed or the consequences of arrogant pride could be critical. Consequently, the use of flashback further assists in the development of the
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