Examples Of Symbolism In The Scarlet Ibis By James Hurst

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Symbolism can be defined “as the use of symbols to signify ideas and qualities by giving them symbolic meanings that are different from their literal sense” (C. Bavota). James Hurst gives us many examples of symbolism in his short story “The Scarlet Ibis.” James Hurst was born in 1922 and was the youngest of three children. He attended North Carolina State College and served in The United States Army during World War II. He had originally studied to become a chemical engineer, but he realized he had a passion for music and became a student at the Juilliard School of Music in New York. Wanting to become an Opera singer he traveled to Rome to further he studies. He soon realized he no talent for singing and settled for being a banker by night and a writer by day (James Richard Hurst). “The Scarlet Ibis”, the short story Hurst is most famously known for, contains several important symbols including, Doodle’s go-cart, Old Woman Swamp, and the scarlet ibis.
“The Scarlet Ibis” is a story of two
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Doodle’s go-cart represents the burden that is placed on his older brother, Brother. “If I so much as picked up my cap, he’d start crying to go with me and Mama would call from wherever she was, “Take Doodle with you” (Hurst). Brother had wanted a little brother that he could go race with, box with, and climb trees with. Instead, Brother got someone that he could not do any of these things with. He had to pull him around on his go-cart day after day. Brother tried to discourage Doodle from coming with him by running with the go-cart and sometimes tipping it over on him. Doodle was such a burden on Brother that he was embarrassed to have a brother of that age that could not walk. It would be this pride or embarrassment that would be such a burden to Brother, that it would ultimately kill Doodle. This is a great example of symbolism that Hurst gives us, but it is just one of
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