In the fictional short story, “The Scarlet Ibis” by James Hurst, we read about a little boy, named Doodle who finds the will to survive and looks at the positive things in life with the help of his brother. In this short story there are 3 symbols that represent the theme of the story. The symbols that you will read in this essay are: Flying, Peacock and the color Red. All of the story’s symbols are connected with Brother and Doodle.
In “The Scarlet Ibis” the color Red is mentioned a lot. Red represents the bird, Scarlet Ibis. ‘He was looking up into the bleeding tree. “It’s a great big red bird!” he called.’ (pg.561). In this quote Doodle is describing the Scarlet Ibis and how it is majestic and beautiful in its color. The color Red also represents Doodle’s Body. When ever Doodle is getting exasperated his face turns Red and his eyes get glossy. At the end of the story Doodle is covered in a brilliant red blood. ‘He had been bleeding from the mouth, and his neck and the front of his shirt were stained a brilliant red.’ (pg.564). This passage is Brother describing Doodle when he is dead.
The next symbol is a Peacock. The peacock also represents brother. Doodle always asks
his brother to not leave him. ‘… “Brother, Brother, don’t leave me! Don’t leave me!” (pg.563)’ Doodle is very attached to his brother and finds him as a protector. The next part to my symbol is a protector. ‘When Peter was ready to go to sleep, the peacock spread his magnificent tail, enfolding the boy gently like a closing go-to-sleep flower, burying him in the gloriously iridescent, rustling vortex.’ (pg.559). Doodle is describing his brother in his story, He trusts his brother and thinks that his brother will always be there to comfort and protect him.
The final symbol is Flying. In all of Doodle’s stories all of the people fly. ‘People in his stories all had wings and flew wherever they wanted to go.’ (pg.559) I think he has people fly because it’s a way of transportation and because Doodle is restrained from a lot of things but by flying he can go wherever he wants to go. I also think the symbol means freedom. It’s a way to escape from the real world and also be able to dream about what he can do without all of his disabilities.
“The Scarlet Ibis” is a short story by James Hurst. We read that the main character, Doodle is held back because of his disablities. Doodle has one person that he considers a protector and that is his brother. There were a lot of symbols in this story but, I only stated 3. The 3 symbols I stated are : The color Red, peacock and Flying. These 3 symbols include Doodle and Brother and their relationship throughout the entire story. We watch their relationship go from nothing to a beautiful bond to a devastating end.