"The Scarlet Ibis" by James Hurst

Categories: The Scarlet Ibis

“The Scarlet Ibis”, a narrative by James Hurst, shows how selfishness and greed can be utilized for the improvement of others. As displayed in this narrative, Doodle’s brother’s determination comes only from selfishness, greed and pride. In the end regret takes over, drawing out the sibling’s love for Doodle, despite the fact that Doodle was the precise reverse of what his sibling had wanted for. “The Scarlet Ibis” is a narrative about a boy and his malformed brother, called Doodle.

Doodle’s brother wishes to have a regular brother, so he teaches Doodle how to walk, he pushes Doodle on, so he can be a regular kid. He pushes Doodle on to a severe, and kills Doodle while doing so. Doodle’s bro acted out of pure selfishness, greed, and pride; absolutely nothing else.

Doodle’s brother desired a brother for the sole purpose of his home entertainment, and Doodle did not fit in his brother’s mold.

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“It was bad adequate having a void bro”, states the brother, “but having one who potentially was not all there was intolerable, so I started to make strategies to eliminate him …” (345 ). This statement by Doodle’s bro shows his interest in having a bro is not that of love, not that of mental friendship, but a bro that he could utilize for individual entertainment. Doodle’s sibling wanted a bro who was much like him. A brother that might look after himself and go on adventures with his bro, a bro like Doodle was not excellent enough for him, therefore showing his level of insensitivity and selfishness.

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On page 346 Doodle’s sibling takes Doodle up to where his casket is and makes him touch it. Doodle’s brother would just do this to restate his control on Doodle and Doodle’s actions. This control which Doodle’s sibling wanted, offered him pleasure; satisfaction to employer around his bro, satisfaction to employer a maimed kid. Doodle’s sibling has a mean streak in him, and from that mean streak he discovers enjoyment, and throughout the entire story that streak continually shows up, and in the end, Doodle’s brother gets what he desired from day 1, when he was “preparing to kill his sibling”.

Doodle learns to walk for the sole reason his brother was embarrassed of him. “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” (347). Here the brother states exactly what this essay is summing up, “I did it for myself”, this is a clear statement of selfishness, possibly pride. “That pride, whose slave I was, spoke to me louder than all their voices”, if you didn’t notice yet that same “pride” is also in my thesis. “And that Doodle walked only because I was ashamed of having a crippled brother”, I will let you derive from that quote what you please. Need I point out that he was embarrassed to be the brother of someone who couldn’t walk. He was the brother of someone who physically was retarded.

He was the brother of a caring person, but just so he would not be judged by the physical condition of his own brother, he teaches him how to walk, not for any cause other than that, but the sole reason, that he is selfishly embarrassed at a inability that isn’t even his own. It brings to mid the obsession Hitler had with what he thought were faulty people. It was an intolerance that scarred our world. Just like Doodle’s brother will also scar the world of him and his family. Doodle’s brother is Hitler. Not a grown up man, but a young boy, who can’t put up with someone because they aren’t as able as he is. He is too embarrassed to find a peaceful way to deal with the problem, so he becomes Hitler, and kills Doodle.

Doodle’s brother finally realizes failure, and he ran away from failure, only to find when he went back to face the truth, more failure, he then feels guilt and out of guilt comes love, for the first time ap real love for his brother. “The knowledge that Doodle’s and my plans had come to naught was bitter, and that streak of cruelty within me awakened. I ran as fast as I could, leaving him far behind with a wall of rain dividing us” (353). At this moment the brother realizes failure, and runs away from it, in both a figurative and literal manner.

When he realizes what he has done he is filled with guilt. “I lay there crying, sheltering my fallen scarlet ibis from the heresy of rain” (354). He finally realizes that all this time he has loved his brother, but failed to show it within himself, and to others. For the first time he understands that not only did he fail in what he wanted to do, but he failed in what he felt was a moral obligation to society, wanting to do this. The brother finally realizes that his Scarlet Ibis is dead, never to come back again. His Scarlet Ibis is dead because he was too morally corrupt to accept what he had, and in that, created failure.

As shown in the preceding paragraphs Doodle’s brother becomes no better than Doodle himself, he is as morally bankrupt as Doodle was physically incapable. In light of the situation the pride, greed and selfishness bettered the life of Doodle, but also ended it short. This story is a sad one, in which a morally bankrupt goes against the physically impaired, and yet again, (as shown through the symbolism of WWI in this story) in war nobody wins. But we must ask ourselves, what if the brother hadn’t shown greed, selfishness and pride; what if the brother had just not cared at all? Would we have ended up with a Scarlet Ibis still alive, a Scarlet Ibis though mauled from birth, still able to interact and do good within society? Would we have ended up with a Scarlet Ibis that not only was interacting with others mentally, but the miracle of medicine was able to cure? Did our scarlet Ibis have a chance at life that his brother took away, or did his brother give him as much chance as he had.

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"The Scarlet Ibis" by James Hurst. (2016, Jul 21). Retrieved from http://studymoose.com/the-scarlet-ibis-by-james-hurst-essay

"The Scarlet Ibis" by James Hurst

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