Symbols And Themes In The Scarlet Ibis By James Hurst

Decent Essays

In “The Scarlet Ibis” James Hurst symbolizes the narrator’s brother, Doodle, as the scarlet ibis, and the narrator as the storm, in order to reveal the theme that challenging someone to go beyond their limits can help in achieving extraordinary results, however pushing the limits too far may prove fatal. As the narrator, Doodle, and their family were eating dinner, they saw a scarlet ibis getting carried by the storm and “[tumbling] down, … landing at [their] feet with a thud”. Doodle’s family doesn’t care much, however, Doodle takes time to respect the bird and to bury it, even though he saw the bird for the first time as if he had some special connection with the ibis. “It’s a scarlet ibis! … South America to Florida. A storm must have brought it here. A scarlet Ibis! How many miles it had traveled to die like this, in our yard, beneath the bleeding tree” (14). The bird, native to South America had flown all the way from “South America to Florida”, which was way beyond its natural capacity. Doodle had also come a long way from being a baby who everyone thought wouldn't survive or a cripple who couldn’t stand. “A storm … brought it here”, somewhat assisting it and somewhat forcing it. Doodle learned to walk, with help from the narrator who pushed him and didn’t let him give up. Now the narrator was pushing Doodle, even more, to learn rowing, swimming, and fighting even though his body and heart were weak. The storm had powered the amazing flight but pushed the bird’s

Get Access