Mistakes his brother could not handle. The constant,

Mistakes are nothing but lessons in the journey of life. It is important to notice and not repeat them.  No one knows this better than the narrator of James Hurst’s “The Scarlet Ibis.” In this short story, the actions of the narrator lead to the unfortunate death of his physically challenged, but kind and gentle, brother: Doodle. The reader can grasp the lesson, relating to mistakes, with the help of these two characters. The author uses the symbols of the storm and raindrops to demonstrate the narrator’s part in Doodle’s death and his emotions afterward. This helps establish, perhaps, the biggest step in development.The storm was a way to show the narrator’s fault in his brother’s death. Trying to challenge Doodle’s physical capabilities, the narrator “ran as fast as he could, leaving Doodle far behind”(394). He knew that Doodle couldn’t catch up, but he ran. The storm of pressure put on the fragile being by his brother showed no mercy. Not only was his brother leaving him behind in a race, but also in life. Every step the narrator took to get away from Doodle, left the delicate being one step closer to his doom. Doodle was being abandoned in the midst of this storm even though he was not capable of escaping it without support.The narrator’s actions had its consequences. Realizing what had happened, all the narrator could do now was scream “above the pounding storm and throw his body to the earth above Doodle’s”(395). Death had its way. Trying to fix what was not broken had not gotten the narrator what he expected. He had unleashed a force of physical exercises which his brother could not handle. The constant, strenuous tasks, like the tough pounding storm, had hit Doodle hard and pushed him on the ground where he met his fate. The storm was accompanied by constant rain. The narrator “lay there crying, sheltering his fallen scarlet ibis from the heresy of rain” (395). Scarlet Ibis, here, is representing Doodle. It can be noticed how rain and tears are mentioned in the same sentence. The author is comparing these two. Not only are these showing the despair but also the narrator’s regret. Feeling responsible for his brother’s death, he realizes now that he should have ended the storm a long time ago. In fact, he should have stopped the moment he knew that he was doing “it for himself; that pride whose slave he was, spoke to him louder than all voices, that Doodle walked only because he was ashamed of having a crippled brother” (389). The narrator knew the wrong in his actions, but he refused to stop. From making Doodle stand up to forcing him to fight through excruciating pain and run, he had done it all for himself. Having only one goal in his mind, to train Doodle to be like others, he let the storm continuously strike his brother, now leaving him with nothing but the rain. This guilt haunts him constantly. However, the rain also proves that he has learned what he did wrong, which is perhaps the best takeaway.The storm and the rain are just two symbols that help track the growth of the narrator. The unbearable pressure he put on Doodle led to his demise. He had understood his mistake early on, but he decided to ignore this newfound knowledge. The narrator wished he had stopped applying that pressure, but it is a little too late for that now. Ending pride’s grip on him and loving his brother for who he was would have swayed both of their futures, leading to a much happier road. Hurst illustrates to the reader that accepting each other’s uniqueness is better than trying to fit in.


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