Literary Devices Used in the Scarlet Ibis

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Literary Devices Used in The Scarlet Ibis

Humans desire acceptance from others, despite our shortfalls. This was what Doodle felt regarding his older brother, Brother. Brother was ashamed Doodle, who had many physical disabilities making hard to accept Doodles unconditional love. In “The Scarlet Ibis”, John Hurst uses motivation, characterization and internal conflict to show that it is a part of human nature to act irrationally as a result of pride.

Brother had motivation for the actions he made regarding Doodle. Having a brother, someone play and run around with, was a thought that had excited him for some time, but he got a brother who would probably never be able to do these things with him. Brother remembered, “It was bad enough having an invalid brother, but having one who was possibly not all there was unbearable, so I began to make plans to kill him by smothering him with a pillow,” (190). This was unbearable for Brother because it would be too demeaning to have a mentally challenged brother. Even though Doodle ended up being “all there”, he was still very high maintenance. Although Doodle showed no signs of walking, he still wanted to be with his brother all the time. Brother says, “To discourage his coming with me, I’d run him with me across the ends of the cotton rows and careen him around corners on two wheels,” (190). Brother also talked about accidentally tipping his brother over in his go-cart, but he showed no signs of remorse. Brother finally got tired of lugging Doodle around everywhere, so he decided to teach him how to walk. He was embarrassed to have a 5 year old brother who could not walk. When he showed his family this miraculous accomplishment, they all cried and hugged him, but Brother felt undeserving. He explained, “They did not know that I did it for myself; that pride, whose slave I was, spoke to me louder than all of their voices, and Doodle walked only because I was ashamed of having a crippled brother,”(192)....
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