Emotions versus Emotion Essays

Emotions versus Emotion Essays

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The idea that pride is both horrible and wonderful is similar to how the symbols in "The Scarlet Ibis" cause opposing emotions at the same time. The Scarlet Ibis, written by James Hurst, is an intriguing piece of realistic fiction that shows how symbols can have double meanings while telling about the relationship between a boy named Doodle and his family. In this story Doodle is born in a caul and everyone expects him to die. To his family's surprise, Doodle lives but is physically handicapped and cannot do the things a normal child can. His parents want to protect Doodle from harm and decide to put Brother in charge of him. The prideful brother decides to teach Doodle how to do normal things, but ends up pushing Doodle too hard and Doodle dies. As Brother teaches Doodle, Hurst uses several symbols such as Doodle's coffin, Doodle's wagon, and paris green to show the relationships in Doodle's family, and to cause multiple emotions in the readers and characters.
For example, the coffin that is built for Doodle causes several conflicting emotions in the readers. Brother tells us that "Daddy had Mr. Heath, the carpenter, build a little mahogany coffin for [Doodle]" (Hurst 110). This shows how Doodle's parents do not believe that Doodle will live and are giving up on him. That sentence makes me hopeful, yet sad, because it seems like Doodle will die, but I want him to live. Later on in the story Brother admits that "[he is] mean to Doodle...[because he takes Doodle] up to the barn loft and [shows Doodle] his casket" (Hurst 111). In this quote the coffin symbolizes the doubt the family had in Doodle and it being put away in the barn represents the family getting rid of that doubt. Even though I feel angry at Brother for showing Doodle...


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...but I am also angry at Brother for using Doodle's dependency on him against Doodle. The paris green helps the reader understand the relationships between Doodle and his family and also makes the reader feel angry at times for the family and Brother's actions.
Through evidence from the text in The Scarlet Ibis, the readers are able to see and understand Doodle's relationships with his family and know that the characters can and do feel different emotions at certain times in the story. Evidence from the text also helps the readers know the multiple meanings of symbols and that the symbols James Hurst uses do cause conflicting emotions in the readers. All in all, by using symbols in The Scarlet Ibis, Hurst is able to cause disagreeing emotions in the readers and characters. I do not think any other piece of realistic fiction causes as much emotion as The Scarlet Ibis.

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