English 1, period 2
Nov. 22, 2013
The scarlet Ibis Essay
Pride is an emotion that often has negative connotations. It is closely associated with conceit or disdain. James Hurst short story “The Scarlet Ibis,”pride is the perspective of Brother, a young man whose pride becomes a destructive force in his life. He uses the tragic relationship of two brothers to demonstrate the themes of pride. The memory of which will keep Brother on the alert for pride for the rest of his life.
“When Doodle was five years old, I was embarrassed at having a brother of that age who couldn't walk.” (346) He thinks he can't be proud of himself if Doodle is disabled. He has the idea that physical disabilities are something to be ashamed of, and that a disabled person reflects shame on family members. “Did not know then that pride is a wonderful, terrible thing, a seed that bears two vines, life and death.”(.347) Brother stresses the duality, or the double sidedness of pride. Brother's pride pushes him to give Doodle a life away from his rubber sheet on the bed. When Brother's obsession with turning Doodle into the "ideal" Brother goes too far, his pride pushes Doodle to his early death. “I should have already admitted defeat but my pride wouldn't let me.”(346) When he takes Doodle to Horsehead Swamp that Saturday before the first day of school, he knows it's too late to meet the goals he set for Doodle. Again we see shame and pride coming together. Brother can't deal with the shame of 'failing,' so he continues trying when he knows it's futile. Blood is thicker than water, but sometimes pride is thicker than both.
"Mama, he smiled. He's all there! He's all there!" (344) Brother is the first to recognize that Doodle is an intelligent child. When Brother wanted to kill Doodle when he thought Doodle wasn't intelligent. This story tries to show that people should be valued for the simple fact that they are alive, despite any physical or...
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