The Emotional Scarlet Ibis
"The Scarlet Ibis” was written by James Hurst. This fictional account is a heart wrenching short story told by a young boy about him and his little brother, who has Down syndrome. During the story, the older brother talks about his thoughts and actions towards his little brother, Doodle. There are many lessons to be learned about human nature, for instance: we might do the right thing for the wrong reason, when your expectations are low they are often proven wrong, and finally in the most unexpected places one may find the most admirable of qualities. In short, if you aren’t feeling the least bit emotional by the end of “The Scarlet Ibis”, go see a doctor.
To begin with, people often do the right thing for the wrong reasons. From the outside looking in, other people think that the older brother is being kind to Doodle for Doodle’s sake, but it is actually the other way around. He was being kind to Doodle for his own sake. At one point the older brother admits with remorse, “I was ashamed of having a crippled brother.” (Hurst 173). The older brother wants Doodle to be normal, so he teaches him how to first stand and then walk, run, swim, paddle, and climb. Also the older brother states, “When Doodle was five years old, I was embarrassed at having a brother of that age that couldn’t walk, so I set out to teach him.” Even Doodle knows that his older brother is only doing this because he doesn’t want to “haul him around all the time”. But, as said previously, their parents and other people that know them most likely think that he was doing these things out of brotherly love for Doodle. Another theme is that often times when not much is expected out of someone they set out to prove you wrong. This shows up in almost every instance. Doodle is not expected to live when he was born, but he lives. Most people think he would not be right in the head, but he is more than “right”, he is more intelligent than his brother in some ways. He...
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