English 1-Puente Honors
25 October 2012
The Scarlet Ibis
By James Hurst
Pride, one of the seven deadly sins, to some it can be a valuable character trait,
but to others, it can destroy you and even the ones you love. In “The Scarlet Ibis”, by
James Hurst, our narrator tells you the story of his fallen scarlet ibis and how pride can
destroy the ones you and the ones you love the most.
Our narrator, the older brother, has a younger brother that he has nicknamed Doodle:
“Renaming my brother was perhaps the kindest thing I did for him, because nobody
expects much from someone called Doodle.”(68) Brother thinks that he’s done something
kind for Doodle, but his Aunt Nicey disagrees saying “caul babies should be treated with
special respect since they might turn out to be saints.” (66) Brother went on calling him
Doodle anyway. Since Doodle couldn’t walk, Brother had to drag him around in a go-
cart, he ended up having to take Doodle everywhere he went. Soon he decided to “share
with him the only beauty he knew, Old Woman Swamp.” (90).
But Brother wasn’t always kind to Doodle, one day he took Doodle to the barn loft, and
showed him his coffin, he said he would leave Doodle there unless he touched the coffin:
“Don’t go leave me, Brother,” Doodle cried. (119) Soon Brother was ashamed of having
a five-year-old brother who couldn’t walk. “I’m going to teach you to walk, Doodle.”
(129) It took them a while by they finally did it and by Doodle’s sixth birthday, he had
learned to fully walk. Their parents were so proud of them: “What are you crying for?
Asked Daddy, but I couldn’t answer. They did not know that I did it for myself; that
pride, whose slave I was, spoke to me louder than all their voices, and that Doodle
walked only because I was ashamed of having a crippled brother.”(190).
After Doodle learned to walk, Brother started making plans to teach Doodle to run,...
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