Scarlet Ibis Argument Essay

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The Scarlet Ibis Argument Essay

In life, many people make very selfish decisions. This is also true for characters in literature. In the story, “The Scarlet Ibis” by James Hurst, the narrator, Brother, had to make many decisions regarding his brother, Doodle. Many of them were selfish.

Whenever Brother was being selfish, it was towards Doodle. For example, “When Doodle was five years old; I was embarrassed at having a brother of that age who couldn’t walk, so I set out to teach him.” Brother was obviously just being selfish when he offered to teach Doodle how to walk. He just did it so he wouldn’t have to be ashamed of having an invalid brother. That was an absolute sign of selfishness.

When Brother decided to show the family that Doodle could walk, he started feeling guilt from his acts. “They did not know that I did it for myself, that pride, whose slave I was, spoke to me louder than all their voices, and that Doodle walked only because I was ashamed of having a crippled brother.” Brother did not want his family to know that he only taught Doodle because he was ashamed and embarrassed. Moreover, he thought they would be disappointed in him because of it. So he knew he did not want that. He was feeling guilty.

Brother had no sympathy towards Doodle’s situation and his disability. “The knowledge that Doodle’s and my plans had come to naught was bitter, and that streak of cruelty within me awakened. I ran as fast as I could, leaving him far behind with a wall of rain dividing us.” When Doodle fell in the forest, Brother realized he had wasted his time on what he thought was helping Doodle to become more of the brother that he had always wanted. Rather than the crippled one he had. He had absolutely no intention to go back and help him. So he was insensitive and just left him on the ground to die.

Brother’s selfishness affected the outcome of the story in a great way. The way he treated Doodle, ultimately ended up killing him. He did not know how...
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