The Scarlet Ibis by James Hurst - Shmoop

"The Scarlet Ibis" is a short story written by novelist James Hurst

The Scarlet Ibis by James Hurst - Storyboard That

Set at the turn of the twentieth century, “The Scarlet Ibis” by James Hurst tells the story of a young boy and his brother. Doodle, the younger brother, seems to be incapable of achieving even the most basic of human achievements; however, in order to not embarrass his older brother (the narrator of the story), Doodle does everything he can to succeed. But small successes never seem to be enough for Brother, and he pushes Doodle beyond his physical limits. By the end of the story, readers wonder why suffering occurs when we refuse to accept each other as individuals.

James Hurst (Author of The Scarlet Ibis)

The literary technique skillfully used in “The Scarlet Ibis” is symbolic imagery coupled with intricate and small details consistently supporting the main symbol. This symbol gives the reader a vehicle for understanding the complexities of human relationships. While reading, students find themselves pulled in to feeling for both Brother and Doodle, and as they read, they gather evidence for Brother’s guilt or innocence regarding his part of the tragic end. The details that Hurst includes in the story build upon each other, and it is only at the end where the title is clear and yet where sympathies are not. Students have to use the text and their own beliefs about the world in order to understand the meanings of the symbols and the lesson of the text

After reading the short story “The Scarlet Ibis” by James Hurst, students will assume the role of either a prosecuting attorney or a defense attorney and prepare persuasive speeches for the jury in regards to the guilt or innocence of the narrator, Brother. Through this activity, students will see how small details and symbolic imagery present a case and set the stage or a debate about the criminality of Brother’s actions. Through the lens of the law, students come to understand the complexities of human relationships and human suffering.


The Scarlet Ibis Summary | GradeSaver

Summer was dead, but autumn had not yet been born when the ibis came to thebleeding tree. It's strange that all this is so clear to me, now that time hashad its way. But sometimes (like right now) I sit in the cool green parlor, andI remember Doodle.