The Choices of Learning

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  • Topic: Guilt, Conscience, James Hurst
  • Pages : 3 (792 words )
  • Download(s) : 1483
  • Published : April 5, 2008
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The Choices of Learning
The moral conscience of the mind comes naturally to the average human being after participating in a sinful act. Those who are wise take responsibility for their actions before it is too late. Those who acknowledge their wrongdoing but do not take any accountability for it will live a life of guilt. In “The Scarlet Ibis”, a flashback of his childhood, Brother experiences guilt because of the death of his younger brother Doodle. Throughout their years of childhood, Brother displays his disowning mentally because his brother, Doodle is “not all there”. In hopes of his brother becoming normal, he pushes Doodle to his limits. Tragically, the more he pushes, the weaker Doodle becomes. Ultimately, such force results in the death of Doodle. In “The Scarlet Ibis”, James Hurst emphasizes Brother’s pain of a guilty conscience to portray regret of his actions towards Doodle through the use of diction and imagery.

Hurst’s diction depicts Brother as an ashamed person who does all he can to remove powerless Doodle from his life. For example, Brother’s overwhelming pride in himself explains his motivation to change Doodle: “It was bad enough having an invalid brother, but having one who was possibly not all there was unbearable” (Hurst 1). Brother refuses to accept a disabled brother. Hurst’s choice of “invalid” and “unbearable” allows the reader to infer that Brother’s absence of a sensitive heart inside of him does not understand Doodle’s condition. Doodle’s love of Brother does not affect Brother’s thoughts about him: “ He’d start crying to go with me and Mama would call from wherever she was, ‘Take Doodle with you.’ He was a burden in many ways” (Hurst 2). Brother, oblivious Doodle’s love, does not understand the significance of being Doodle’s role model. The burden Brother portrays Doodle as, forces Doodle to push himself harder to please Brother. Brother’s achievements are only based on the good of himself: “They did not know...
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