`` Scarlet Ibis `` By James Hurst Essay

`` Scarlet Ibis `` By James Hurst Essay

Length: 797 words (2.3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Sometimes it is difficult to differentiate between cruelty and love. This statement is clear in James Hurst 's short story, “Scarlet Ibis”. “Scarlet Ibis” is a tale written based on an assortment of memories a brother, the narrator of the story, has of his late, physically disabled brother, Doodle. When the narrator discovers Doodle is physically disabled, the brother feels great animosity toward him. The animosity remains a major internal conflict for the brother throughout the story. As the story progresses, the narrator’s embarrassment of his brother’s disabilities leads him to mold Doodle so that he is not as embarrassed by him. This is the point where the theme of the story becomes exposed to the reader, that love can make a person do cruel things. Hurst uses the conflict that the brother has with himself about accepting his brother, the cruel actions that the brother directs toward his brother, and the irony that is woven throughout the story to further emphasize the theme.
Hurst utilizes external conflict to further his message, that cruelty can sometimes, be a way that someone might express love. One specific example that expertly shows Hurst’s message is when the brother forces Doodle, his brother, to touch his own coffin that the family made when they thought that he would not survive. Doodle is given two options, touch his own coffin or remain alone, “Doodle was frightened of being left. ‘Don’t leave me, Brother,’ he cried, and he leaned toward the coffin,”(Hurst). The brother 's cruelty is, perhaps, driven by his anger and disappointment in his brother because he longed for a companion with whom he could share his love for the outdoors, but instead he is presented with Doodle, who is fragile and incapable of most thing...


... middle of paper ...


...t the narrator wants a healthy brother with whom he could play with, but instead, Doodle is the exact opposite of what he wanted, “I wanted more than anything someone to race,” (Hurst). He is unable to play, run, or enjoy the outside with Doodle because he is physically limited. This irony also causes an internal problem for the brother because he must find ways to deal with his embarrassment of Doodle’s disabilities. The problem that causes the issues would not be there without the use of irony.
By using the internal conflict that the brother has with himself about trying not to be embarrassed, the cruel actions that the brother takes upon his brother, and the irony that is found through the entire story to further emphasize the theme. The basic message that the author is trying to send to the reader is that love is found in many forms, cruelty being one of them.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Scarlet Ibis by James Hurst Essay

- The Scarlet Ibis by James Hurst Foreshadowing, symbolism, and image are all elements which compose style.  All are very important; foreshadowing adds suspense, and symbolism contributes to interpretation.  Image contributes "visual aids" which, also, aid interpretation.  In this classic short story, "The Scarlet Ibis," by James Hurst, foreshadowing, symbolism, and image combine to create a true literary masterpiece. Foreshadowing is one of the elements of style which make "The Scarlet Ibis" great.  For example, the author states, "The last graveyard flowers were blooming, and their smell drifted [through] our house, speaking softly the names of our dead."  This passage clearly foreshadow...   [tags: James Hurst Scarlet Ibis]

Better Essays
723 words (2.1 pages)

The Scarlet Ibis by James Hurst Essay

- Dante Alighieri once said, "Avarice, envy, pride, three fatal sparks, have set the hearts of all on Fire." In the short story "The Scarlet Ibis" by James Hurst, it shows how pride can be beneficial in some ways, and harmful in other ways. The story starts out as the narrator of the story has a recollection of his past when his younger brother Doodle was still alive. The narrator tells how everyone believed Doodle is crippled mentally and physically. However, Doodle is a normal human being mentally, but has some difficulties physically....   [tags: Scarlet Ibis Hurst]

Free Essays
704 words (2 pages)

`` Scarlet Ibis `` By James Hurst Essay

- Sometimes it is difficult to differentiate between cruelty and love. This statement is clear in James Hurst 's short story, “Scarlet Ibis”. “Scarlet Ibis” is a tale written based on an assortment of memories a brother, the narrator of the story, has of his late, physically disabled brother, Doodle. When the narrator discovers Doodle is physically disabled, the brother feels great animosity toward him. The animosity remains a major internal conflict for the brother throughout the story. As the story progresses, the narrator’s embarrassment of his brother’s disabilities leads him to mold Doodle so that he is not as embarrassed by him....   [tags: Fiction, Conflict, Disability, Shame]

Better Essays
797 words (2.3 pages)

Doodle And The Ibis In James Hurst's The Scarlet Ibis Essay

- Do you have many things in common with someone. Maybe you even know twins. Well, Doodle and the ibis in James Hurst’s The Scarlet Ibis have many similarities. We learn early in the story that Doodle was expected to die at a young age. When he was born he had many complications. His brother was determined to help him and eventually he had surprised his family and the people who had doubted him. The ibis was very alike Doodle in the way that they had both done things that amazed people, especially Doodle’s family....   [tags: Learning, James Hurst, Ibis, Skill]

Better Essays
700 words (2 pages)

Essay on The Scarlet Ibis by James Hurst

- ... Finally, in The Scarlet Ibis, Doodle strives for these objectives because he is dependent on his brother. Perhaps he is even scared that if he doesn’t do what his brother asks, then he will no longer have help from him. This is supported when they are in the loft and the narrator says, “And before I’ll help you down from the loft, you’re going to have to touch it.” (Page 387). He is threatening to leave Doodle up in the loft, all alone, until he touches the mahogany box which was to be his coffin....   [tags: doodle, conflict]

Better Essays
1677 words (4.8 pages)

The Scarlet Ibis, by James Hurst Essay

- The short story “The Scarlet Ibis”, by James Hurst was about a boy named William Armstrong, and his brother. William Armstrong was crippled when he was born and he cannot walk. His brother than calls him doodle, because that name would fit him better. But as Doodle got older, and every time his brother has to go somewhere, he would have to take doodle with him too. His brother got annoyed so he taught doodle how to walk. Doodle’s brother didn’t teach doodle how to walk because he felt sorry for him, but because of his reputation....   [tags: The Scarlet Ibis Essays]

Free Essays
380 words (1.1 pages)

The Scarlet Ibis by James Hurst Essay

- When I read “The Scarlet Ibis,” I think of my little sister being premature, and then later die of because all of her organs are not formed all the way. Writer James Hurst makes a fiction story seem so realistic, it is hard to believe it is fiction. In “The Scarlet Ibis” a young boy conflicts his emotions toward his younger brother simultaneously. In the story two brothers learn how to treat each other through tough and easy times. Brother lets his pride get in the way, and then it indecently went to killing his younger brother, Doodle....   [tags: overpowering pride]

Better Essays
719 words (2.1 pages)

James Hurst's The Scarlet Ibis Essay

- Throughout the brief story, The Scarlet Ibis, James Hurst uses an abundance of symbolism to help tell the story of Doodle. The symbolism leads into imagery and foreshadowing, also. Each symbol contributes to the story in a different way. There are various connotations throughout the symbols. Hurst uses three very powerful, thorough symbols in his story that I will discuss. Each conveys a story of its own. This is “The Scarlet Ibis.” It is written by James Hurst and is realistic fiction. This story is mainly about Brother, who is teaching his physically disabled brother how to be like a normal kid, but pressures him very much, and it begins to become a problem for his physical disability....   [tags: short story analysis]

Better Essays
841 words (2.4 pages)

Striving to Achieve Goals in The Scarlet Ibis by James Hurst Essays

- ... Doodle is not the competitive type and he is crippled and everyone expected him to die at birth accept Aunt Nicey. In the story it said, “She said he would live because he was born in a caul and cauls were made from Jesus’ nightgown.” which shows how Aunt Nicey thought Doodle was going to live and she was right. Doodle ended up living but he couldn’t walk and the narrator or his brother had to walk with him in a go kart. The narrator didn’t want to do this and he wanted a brother that could go up to the loft in the barn and see everything....   [tags: crippled, narrator, conflict]

Better Essays
615 words (1.8 pages)

Foreshadowing and Flashback in The Scarlet Ibis by James Hurst Essay

- Foreshadowing and Flashback in “The Scarlet Ibis” Regrets are one of the few factors that all people have in common. A study was taken asking hundreds of American citizens if they regretted something from their past. Although the majority decided upon failed romantic relationships as their most prominent regret, about sixteen percent stated his or her biggest regrets lied within family matters (Johnson). In James Hurst's short story, “The Scarlet Ibis,” Hurst uses foreshadowing and flashback to establish a reminiscent tone....   [tags: doodle, abandonment, death]

Better Essays
1024 words (2.9 pages)