“Death Be Not Proud”
It is said that a person can accomplish anything if they put their mind to it. Humans have walked on the moon, swam the English Channel, and overcome disabilities to defy nature itself. In the film Simon Birch and the short story “The Scarlet Ibis”, two boys work to push past their disabilities that limit their lifestyles to the point of eventual death. Both Simon Birch and Doodle (“The Scarlet Ibis”) prove that strength does not necessarily have to come from the healthiest of humans, but that the ideas of tolerance for all should be a universal practice. Through their similarities and differences, these unlikely characters teach the reader about might and acceptance of those with disabilities.
Doodle and Simon Birch are boys born with handicaps that could easily have limited their lifestyle. Doodle’s developmental delay and Simon’s small stature cause both characters to rely on those around them for support and assistance. Luckily, the kindness of Joe Wentworth towards Simon Birch and the consistent attentions of Doodle’s brother, allow both handicapped boys to live lives greater than most of the world could imagine. Swimming, learning to walk, and boxing were a few things that Doodle learned from his persistent brother. Likewise, Simon enjoyed swimming with his friend Joe, and also playing baseball, which was some thing others did not think he could do. Not only did both characters push themselves with the help of their support systems, they also viewed the world around them as a beautiful place, in which they could learn to defy the limitations of their human bodies. The doctors never believed that Simon would amount to anything and he became a handicapped hero by saving a bus full of kids. Doctors said Doodle would never walk and through pain, frustration, and never giving up, he was able to learn to walk by his 6th birthday. The similarities between these characters are uncanny, but one thing that is continuously evident is that...
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