The Main Ideas Of The Book The Scarlet Ibis

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Brother opens the story about how he always wished he had a younger sibling so he could run and play and do everything he enjoyed doing with someone else. Then, when his mother gave birth to a crippled boy, the Brother’s wish seemed like it was not going to become a reality. Three months passed and his parents decided to give him the name William Armstrong, but his parents informed the Brother that he might not be “all there” Everyone doubted William except for his Brother. This made the time that William grinned at the Brother through the posts on the bed that much more special because it made his wish closer to becoming a reality. Brother had always wanted a brother that he could play with. To prove that Brother is not culpable there are some witnesses such as the swamp, the peacock, and the paris green.

The swamp is a good witness because this is where Doodle and brother spend most of their time. The swamp represents happiness or paradise for boys. When Doodle was first brought there by his brother he started crying. “His little eyes were round with wonder as he gazed about him, and his little hands began to stroke the grass, Then he began to cry”( Hurst, 346). After that day him and Doodle often went down to the swamp, and makes laces and crowns out of flowers. Brother would have not taken him here, and spent this much time with him if he did not care about him. The swamp was where Doodle was thought how to walk, even though he did it for himself it helped his brother greatly. Brother and Doodle even started to think about their future, “We decided that when we were grown, we’d live in Old Woman Swamp and pick dog’s-tongue for a living, Beside the stream, he planned, we’d build us a house of whispering leaves and the swamp birds would be our chickens.”(Hurst, 349). The boys wanted to live together picking dog’s-tongue for a living this can describe the innocence and imagination of the boys because this would never work out in real life. “Mama and Daddy could come live with us if they wanted to, Doodle even came up with the idea to marry Mama and I could marry Daddy”(Hurst, 349).

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This describes the also describes the innocence and youthfulness of the boys and they did not know what they were doing, and that this would not work out. “ Sometimes we descended into the greenness of old woman swamp and climbed the rope vines or boxed scientifically beneath the pine where he had learned to walk”(Hurst, 349). Earlier Brother stated that he wanted someone to “box with” and he and his brother started doing just that.

The Peacock stands for the expectations Doodle has from Brother. The Peacocks tail stands for the kites tail, and the kites tail was what brother thought of as a Doodles original name William Armstrong which he said was a “big tail on a small kite”(Hurst, 348). The tail was his expectations from Brother that he could not handle. Doodle could have easily prevented his death if he would have told Brother that he was being pushed to hard. You can not hold Brother culpable for Doodle's death if it could have been easily prevented if he would have told Brother or his parents. He still looked up to brother and wanted to do whatever he could to make him happy, even if it was hurting himself which would hurt Brother later in life. Doodle did not tell anyone what was going on, therefore no one could ever find out that he was hurting. When the tail went over the sun was when his disabilities took over and he collapsed and died.

Paris green represents what Doodles Brother. Brother is the paris green he protects doodle from everything just like the paris green protects the coffin from insects. “I began to call him Doodle, and in time even Mama and Daddy thought it was a better name than William Armstrong”(Hurst, 345). Brother protected William by naming him Doodle because William is such a big name. This is evident again when he is teaching him to walk and later on in the story when he teaches him to swim, climb, run and box. Even when the doctor had said that he was not capable to walk Doodle and Brother proved them wrong. Brother also made him walk so he could go to school and he would not get bullied. Why would brother put this much time and effort into someone you were planning to kill him, or to blame him when Brother did so much to help.

Brother is innocent for many reasons. Brother takes him to the swamp a lot and thought him to walk, why would Brother do this just to kill Doodle. You can not blame Brother for Doodle's death because Doodle can make his own decisions on what he wants to do. Brother can not be at fault Doodles death because he was never warned that he was pushing Doodle to hard so he could not stop trying to help Doodle. If Doodle would have told his parents or even he would have told Brother that he was getting pushed to hard he would have never died. You can not blame someone for a death if they did not know they were doing it or it could have been easily solved. Another reason you can not blame Brother for Doodle’s death is because they were both still children, so all they wanted to do was have fun and play around. Brother worked so hard to make Doodle into the brother he wanted him to be why would he want to ruin that by killing him. Brother even protected Doodle and cared for him so no one could hurt him or make fun of him, so why would Brother be to blame for his death if he was helping but did not know he was hurting him. You can not blame brother for Doodle's death because there were several ways from preventing his death their mom or dad could have stopped them from going outside when there was a storm coming, Doodle could have told Brother he was getting pushed beyond his abilities, or Doodle could have said no to going out. Brother is not culpable for Doodle's death because he was too young to know what he was doing, and could have been prevented in many ways.

Work Cited

  1. Hurst, James. “The Scarlet Ibis.” Elements of Literature, by Kylene Beers and Lee Odell, Third Course, Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 2005, pp. 344-354.
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