Scarlet Ibis

Topics: Fiction, Death, Short story Pages: 3 (868 words) Published: March 9, 2014
Hailey M. Camper
Mrs. Lauren Owen
English 9 Honors
17 September 2013
The Scarlet Ibis: A Literary Analysis
There are multiple literary elements that combine together to create the theme and mood of a story. In the short story, “The Scarlet Ibis,” the author, James Hurst, demonstrates the use of literary elements and the importance of vital life lessons. The mood in this short story is deeply nostalgic and melancholy. The narrator faces the difficult obstacle of his pride vs. Himself (which is also the critical theme of the story). In the story, Hurst uses the elements of setting, foreshadowing, and symbolism to create a bittersweet, nostalgic memory of the character of Doodle.

Various examples of how the setting reveals the mood of a story are found in “The Scarlet Ibis.” One specific example was at the beginning of the story where the author wrote “summer was dead, but autumn had not yet been born when the ibis came to the bleeding tree.” This sentence was the setting of the entire story and transmitted a thought that death would probably come in later somewhere in the story – and it did for both Doodle and the Scarlet Ibis. The storm that was occurring seconds before Doodle died was also an example of setting. When the narrator said “When we reached Horsehead landing, lightning was flashing across half the sky, and thunder was drowning out the sound of the sea,” the mood quickly escalated to alarming and frightening, and it gave the reader more suspense. Literally seconds after this mood is created, the narrator goes back to this tree where his little brother Doodle is lying dead with blood dripping from his lips. In “The Scarlet Ibis” the author demonstrates the use of foreshadowing to develop the mood to come later on in the story.

The use of foreshadowing can develop the mood of an event before it happens in the story. Examples of this in the story are the “hints of death” that come out towards the reader such as when the Scarlet Ibis died, Aunt...
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