Short Stories Essay

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Revealing True Character

When people are placed in a new environment they need to either adapt and overcome or they will submit to their fear and self-destruct. They destroy themselves by trying to be what, in truth, is worse than what they had. The main characters in “The Scarlet Ibis”, “The Most Dangerous Game”, and “The Necklace” prove this. All three had the potential to overcome their environment but made mistakes the facets of the fundamental human conditions of pride and fear. In “The Scarlet Ibis”, Doodle's brother tried to change his new environment instead of adapting, which eventually led to disaster. In The Necklace, Mathilde tries to hide from her fear of having to be seen as poor and tries to fit in to a new environment, but instead it costs her and her husband their life together for nothing. Only Rainsford, in “The Most Dangerous Game” adapted to the challenges in his new environment and overcame his enemy Zarnoff and in doing so, saved himself. In all these short stories the characters' environment put them to the test, by forcing them to deal with an extreme situation which revealed -their true nature.

This paragraph will cover “The Scarlet Ibis”. Author James Hurst shows Doodle's brother to be a caring person in the beginning until everything changes with the birth of his handicapped brother, which eventually brings out his ugly side. As he changes from a caring brother to a self-centered person he begins to show hostility toward his brother saying, “It was bad enough having an invalid brother, but having one who possibly was not all there was unbearable, so I began to make plans to kill him”(Hurst.417). This quote shows that having a handicapped brother brought out a dark murderous side that was not present before. Doodle's brother was not planning to help Doodle because he felt sorry for Doodle. He wanted to help him for his own selfish reasons so that he wouldn't have to be associated with an invalid brother....
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