The Scarlet Ibis Theme Essay

707 Words3 Pages

Pride is Ignorance

Disability is a physical or mental condition that limits a person's movement, senses, or activities. "The Scarlet Ibis," a short story written by James Hurst, focuses on the relationship between two brothers: the narrator and his disabled brother, Doodle. Doodle is born when the narrator, Brother, is only six years old. Since the narrator is young and does not know how to cope with a situation like this, he plans to kill Doodle. The prideful narrator wants a brother he can play with and is disappointed and embarrassed that he will not be like a regular boy. Therefore, the theme of the story is too much pride can be a bad thing; the narrator lets his pride get the best of him and ends up killing Doodle. Three symbols that enrich the understanding of the story and relate to the theme are the Old Woman Swamp, the color red, and the scarlet ibis. The first symbol that enriches the understanding of the story …show more content…

The scarlet ibis symbolizes Doodle. “It lives in the tropics. How many miles it has traveled to die like this, in our yard, beneath the bleeding tree,” (424). Doodle, like the scarlet ibis, does not belong in his environment. He is mentally and physically impaired, which makes him different and stand out. The narrator’s pride wants Doodle to be an ordinary brother, and kills him in the strive for perfection. “For a long time, it seemed forever, I lay there crying, sheltering my fallen scarlet ibis,” the narrator reveals (426). For the first time, the narrator notices the connection between the scarlet ibis and Doodle. When Doodle dies, his neck is twisted identical to the scarlet ibis’ neck as it dies under the bleeding tree, along with the fact that they are both weak and fragile. The scarlet ibis and Doodle has come a long way, dodging many obstacles and achieving many goals, but in the end, both fall short of

Open Document