“The Scarlet Ibis” is a short story by James Hurt that describes the life and relationship of two brothers coming over challenges that has affected their lives. Doodle, the younger brother has struggled with a variety of health issues since he was born resulting in the inability to walk. Doodle’s older brother has always struggled with the idea that his brother isn’t “normal”. This caused him to resent Doodle for not being the brother he imagined. The narrator's desire to have a normal brother becomes so great that he chooses to help his brother learn to walk. This task challenges both of them mentally and Doodle physically. The way the narrator teaches Doodle to walk at times could be cruel, but Doodle did learn to walk. The narrator's …show more content…
One of the main reasons Doodle’s brother begins to teach Doodle how to walk is because he doesn't want a brother that isn’t normal. When the narrator finally teaches Doodle how to walk they decides to show their parents, the development Doodle has made. Their parents are absolutely overjoyed that their son can walk, but Doodle’s brother is crying. He is crying because he knows that the only reason Doodle can walk is because of his self centered needs. “They did not know that I did it for myself… Doodle walked only because I was ashamed of having a crippled brother.” (Hurt pg#) Doodle’s body could barely take the stress that came with learning to walk, yet the narrator still pushes Doodle to do more. He wants doodle to be just like the boys at school, the boys that run around, and play on the playground. Doodle’s body can not handle the amount of pressure all of these activities and workouts the narrator is putting Doodle’s body through. The narrator was not content with Doodle just learning to walk, his selfish ways wanted Doodle to be like a regular kid, but Doodle’s body can’t take that amount of pressure and in result he died. The cruelness the narrator shows over the course of their relationship ultimately killed him. Even when Doodle was a young boy the narrator chose cruel ways to torture his brother. Everyone thought Doodle was going to die as a baby so his parents got a casket built, however remarkably Doodle lived. His parents
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The first reason Brother is guilty is because he was always rude and vicious to Doodle. On page 2 it states, ¨I began to make plans to kill him by smothering him with a pillow.¨ Brother was always planning on killing Doodle since the beginning, this incident could have been his chance to get rid of Doodle without getting in trouble. The second evidence I have is that Brother made Doodle touch his own coffin.(pg.4). Brother was being cruel to Doodle by telling him that he was supposed to die and scaring him by making him touch his own coffin from when he was younger! The last piece of evidence I have for this reason is that the night of the death Brother knew that Doodle had tripped in the mud
On page 346, Brother forces Doodle to touch the coffin that was built for Doodle and threatens to leave Doodle all by himself if he didn’t touch the coffin. “ Doodle studied the mahogany box for a long time, then said, ‘It’s not mine.’ ‘It is,’ I said. ‘And before I’ll help you down from the loft, you’re going to have to touch it.’ ‘I won’t touch it,’ he said sullenly. ‘Then I will leave you here all by yourself,’ I threatened, and made as if I were going down. Doodle was frightened of being left. ‘Don’t go leave me, Brother,’ he cried, and he leaned toward the coffin. His hand, trembling, reached out, and when he touched the casket, he screamed.” pg 346. This text shows that not only does Brother do cruel things to Doodle out of his own selfishness and pride, but he also does cruel things to Doodle to his amusement. On page 346, he even admits that what he did to Doodle was cruel. “At times I was mean to Doodle.” pg 346. On page 345, Brother plans to kill Doodle by smothering him to death with a pillow when Doodle was an infant, but leaves him to be because Doodle smiles at him, making him realize that Doodle was “all there”. “It was bad enough having an invalid brother, but having one who possibly was not all there was unbearable, so I began to make plans to kill him by smothering him with a pillow.” This quote shows that Brother would go as far as murdering Doodle, because he
Lastly, in the short story, “The Scarlet Ibis” by James Hurt,s the goals reflect the conflict that the narrator feels about Doodle because Doodle is crippled. After a birth gone wrong and an near death experience, Doodle cannot walk or do everything a normal kid would do. His older brother, the narrator, wants more than anything to have a little brother that could go up in the barn loft with him and see everything. Instead, he has to pull Doodle around in a go kart everywhere. Inspite of everyone saying Doodle would never be a normal brother, the narrator set out on a mission to teach Doodle to walk. He does by bribing Doodle with a ride on the go kart or showing him a picture of the two of them when they are old and he is still pulling Doodle on the go kart. This always kept Doodle going and kept him trying to walk. Eventually
At the beginning, Doodle had been very hesitant to go along with his brother’s plans. He tried to argue with his brother. “I can’t walk, Brother,” Doodle said. “Who says so?” He demanded. “Mama, the doctor, everybody,” uttered Doodle. “Oh, you can walk,” The narrator said.” Shortly after that, Doodle began to follow the narrator’s orders and self ambitions. Soon, the narrator had acquired too much ambition, putting Doodle at risk. This is evident with Doodle’s constant cry, “don’t hurt me, Brother.” Little did the narrator know he would be pushing his brother too far. Later in the story, the narrator let his ambition overcome him and decided to keep on pushing his brother. He did not want a brother who could not do what other normal schoolboys could do. He admits to himself, “the knowledge that Doodle’s and my plans had come to naught was bitter, and that streak of cruelty within me awakened.” He believed what Doodle could not do would greatly affect him and his social
The setting of “The Scarlet Ibis” helps prepare the readers’ state of mind from the very beginning. In the first place, the story takes place at the end of World War I and represents the internal conflict the narrator has as he struggles between guilt of his younger brother’s death and the acceptance of his brother’s disabilities. With this in mind, the narrator is abashed over Doodle’s inability to walk because he thinks disabilities are shameful, and he wanted a brother who was athletic, outgoing, and adventurous. For this reason,”When Doodle was five years old, I was embarrassed at having a brother of that age who couldn't walk, so I set out to teach him (Hurst 417).” The narrator admits to going out of his way to train Doodle to walk because he has so much pride that it is getting in the way of more important goals, meaning he would rather have a “normal” brother than a happy one. The poor treatment of his brother ultimately leads to Doodle’s death. Furthermore, he forces Doodle to do things unwillingly, such as touch his own coffin and train him to be “normal”. The narrator traumatizes his little brother to think a certain way in order to become accepted by society. Even
In “The Scarlet Ibis” by James Hurst, the protagonist tries to help his disabled brother, Doodle, learn to walk and run. It is explained, “When Doodle was five years old, I was embarrassed at having a brother of that age who couldn’t walk, so I set out to teach him” (Hurst 418). Doodle’s brother helps slightly for personal gain, but has a good heart trying to help his brother learn to walk. After Doodle has begun to walk, his brother tries to get him to do more. The two get caught in the rain one afternoon and trying to get home, the narrator explains that “the faster I walked, the faster he walked, so I began to run...I heard Doodle, who had fallen behind, cry out, ‘Brother, Brother, don’t leave me!’...He didn’t answer so I placed my hand on his forehead and lifted his head. Limply, he fell backward onto the earth” (Hurst 426). The narrator has good intentions, trying to help his brother learn to more dependent, but he pushes Doodle too far, resulting in Doodle’s death. Both Doodle’s brother and Montresor are flawed and have their own problems that wouldn’t be present in the stories of characters like
Brother was disappointed with Doodles progress before the storm had started. “The knowledge that Doodle’s and my plans had come to naught was bitter, and the streak of cruelty within me awakened. I ran as fast as I could, leaving him far behind with a wall of rain dividing us (Hurst 6).” Doodles biggest fear was being left behind and brother knew that. As soon as brother realised that Doodle was not making as much progress as he had hoped, he thought there was no point in going back to help doodle. Brother was not being compassionate to Doodle and only worried about himself. Doodle ended up dying during the storm because he was left behind. Because of brother’s lack of compassion towards Doodle, Brother does not contain the qualities of a good
Brother was guilty for Doodles death because of his pride. Brother taught Doodle how to walk and thought to himself "... I did it for myself; that pride, whose slave I was, spoke to me louder than all their voices, and that Doodle only walked because I was ashamed of having a crippled brother " (599). While Brother was teaching Doodle how to walk he was also hurting him. Brother would lift Doodle up and just let him fall to the hard ground. Doodle had weak legs and he could have broken a bone. Although learning to walk hurt really bad, Doodle wanted to make his brother proud. Many thought that Brother was helping Doodle but in reality he was slowly killing him.
When some people are born they have disabilities like being weak or missing a limb. The Scarlet Ibis by James Hurst is about a young boy named Doodle who has a weak heart and body and has a small chance of living. In the story Doodle displayed strength and perseverance
Doodle’s fragile condition could very well cause him to die of exhaustion during the training the brother required of him. This act of carelessness could, and eventually did, prove fatal for young Doodle, even though the brother’s intentions were good, the result was horrible. Towards the end of the story, when Doodle and the brother are walking home in a thunderstorm, the narrator says this, "The faster I walked, the faster he walked, so I began to run. The rain was coming, roaring through the pines, and then like a bursting Roman candle, a gum tree ahead of us was shattered by a bolt of lightning...I heard Doodle, who had fallen behind cried out "Brother, Brother, don't leave me don't leave me!" The brother was putting Doodle through a very stressful situation, where he was overexerting himself, which is exactly what the doctors had warned was not healthy for Doodle. The running, sound of the exploding tree, in addition to the pouring rain and deafening lighting overwhelmed Doodle as his brother, the one he looked up to as his mentor, sprinted away from Doodle to a point where he couldn’t keep up. He was stranded in the middle of nowhere in the cold pouring rain at the tender age of 5 years
In the short story, “The Scarlet Ibis”, James Hurst writes about a troubling tale of two brothers, older and younger, living together on a small farm and the older brother trying to help his younger brother fit in with the world around him. Doodle, the younger brother, is a very sickly child, whom no one is expecting to live. As a result, the older brother is disappointed, since he wanted a brother that he could have fun with. Angered by the condition of his younger brother, the older brother becomes determined to change him, and he constantly pushes him toward becoming the brother that he had originally expected. Doodle learns a great deal of things from his brother, but all his learning comes at a dangerously high price to Doodle in the
The narrator does it strictly for his pride, and not Doodle’s sake. The narrator regrets,“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).This continues the theme by explaining his regret for teaching his brother to walk for his pride, rather than for Doodle. Although the narrator sees the bad in what he’s done, he still doesn’t understand what he should do prevent it from happening again. The narrator plots,“Once I had succeeded in teaching Doodle to walk, I began to believe in my own infallibility”(Hurst). This idea supports the theme by identifying the narrator’s pride with teaching Doodle to walk and how he believes he can make it stronger.
The narrator was cruel to Doodle, pushed Doodle too hard, and lastly because he left Doodle in the end of the story. The narrator is to blame for Doodle’s death because he was cruel to Doodle throughout the whole story. He made forced Doodle touch his own coffin without asking (Hurst, 353), which made Doodle scared and showed that the narrator didn’t actually care about Doodle’s feelings. He threatened to leave Doodle in the barn where the coffin was if he didn’t.
In “the Scarlet Ibis” by James Hurst, Brother’s motivation to teach Doodle to walk and to try and teach him to run, climb, swim, and row a boat is because of his pride- he’s ashamed to have a crippled little brother. Brother was pride’s slave, “Doodle walked only because I was ashamed of having as crippled brother” (Hurst, 319). This shows that Brother only taught Doodle to walk because he was ashamed of having a crippled brother. Brother cries when people hug him for teaching Dooble to walk because he’s embarrassed that he was embarrassed of Doodle and that’s the only reason that Doodle can walk. Brother successfully taught Dooble to walk but felt shameful that pride was the only reason that Doodle knew how to walk but when he fails to teach
With a family already preparing to bury this little baby boy in a coffin before he would see three months Doodle has other ideas of when his life will come to an end. Wanting nothing else in the world the narrator wanted a brother who was just as athletically capable as him, only with great fight would that be possible. Everyone from the family knew that he would never be all straight in the head. “However, one afternoon as I watched him him, my head poked between the iron post of the foot of the bed, he looked straight at me, and grinned. I skipped through the rooms, down the echoing halls, shouting, “Mama, he smiled. He’s all there! He’s all there!” and he was. Doodle was given the adversity of this heart condition but he had proved everyone wrong once and he would definitely do it several more times and continue to fight for a better life.“Trembling, he’d push himself up, turning first red, then a soft purple, and finally collapse back onto the bed like a an old worn out doll.” Doodle did not give up easily he wanted better for his life, just like his brother had wished for. Doodle may have been born invalid at birth,but he sure wasn't going to stay that way. Doodle prevailed during his time he also was a fighter and battled to get stronger and better with his older brothers help.