In the short story "The Scarlet Ibis" by James Hurst, Doodle is an ugly duckling' of a little boy and an invalid. Despised by, and an embarrassment to his older brother,
Doodle is a seeming candidate for low self-esteem. He has no friends and rarely leaves the house. His older brother begins to take interest in Doodle's physical progress and takes him under his wing. Through Doodle's battle to earn his brothers respect he shows extreme courage ad determination.
Doodle is determined to learn to walk. His brother is ashamed of his physical inabilities, so he decides to teach him to walk. He takes Doodle outside and practices with him. In the beginning, Doodle becomes discouraged and insists that it is impossible. The doctors say he cannot walk and he believes this without question. As he begins to further progress, he practices without complaint and actually becomes more confident in himself. "... I'd paint for him a picture of us as old me, white-haired, him with a long white beard and me still pulling him around in (his) go-cart. This never failed to make him try again." his brother recalls. Once Doodlle realizes that walking is is a feasible and attainable goal, he begins to do it for his own benefit, as well as his brother's.
Doodle is determined to please his brother. Throughout the time when Doodle does not have faith in his ability to walk, he persists anyway. This is because he wants to make his brother happy . As long as his brother is spending time with him, and it is still apparent to Doodle that it is because he cares, Doodle will do anything to maintain this relationship.Doodle doesn't know of his brother's selfish reasons to spend time with him. He innocently sees it as the regular exchange of brotherly love and care.
Not once in the story does his brother say "Come on, Doodle- I know you can do it!", or " Great job! Let's try it one more time ", or give him any other words of encouragement...