January 8, 2017 General Studies

“The Scarlet Ibis” by James Hurst is the story of two brothers growing up together. In their time with each other, the narrator of the story helps his disabled little brother, Doodle. Although he may have seemed cruel by forcing Doodle to learn to walk and run, the narrator also taught his little brother to play and romp and be more than an invalid patient – to be “all there.” He truly cared for his younger sibling and tried to enrich his brother’s life. .

During the course of the years, the narrator exercised much patience with his younger brother. Although it is a considerable anomaly for any child to try to suffocate his ailing sibling to save the child from suffering, the friendship shared between Doodle and his brother is absolutely amazing. The narrator was six years old when Doodle was born and was disconcerted in Doodle being a sickly child. “He was born when I was six and was, from the outset, a disappointment Everybody thought he was going to die,” he says (Hurst, 595). Yet, the narrator still takes care of his sibling and spends almost all his time with Doodle. When one considers the fact that the narrator scooted Doodle everywhere with him in a go-cart she has to wonder at the maturity showed by the older brother. Instead of trying to ignore the invalid, he cares for his brother. When he wanted someone to run and jump and play with he instead drove his little brother around. .

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Surely, the narrator couldn’t be happy with the idea of spending the rest of his life looking after his brother. He realizes, however, that, “My brother was going to cling to me forever . So I [brought him to] the only beauty I knew” (Hurst, 596). Bringing Doodle to Old Woman Swamp was one of the kindest things the narrator ever did. After that initial visit, the two visited almost every day. They played (in a sense) and laughed together, and told stories without any cares in the world. .

Being a little boy, the narrator was sure to have experienced dismay at the prospect of carting around his sick sibling for the rest of his life.


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