An Analysis of Regret in the Scarlet Ibis by James Hurst

The Scarlet Ibis by James Hurst a young boy named Doodle, who is suffering from a weak heart is trying to be friends with his twelve year old brother. When Doodle was born the family knew he was going to have a handicap. His older brother was hoping for a brother who he could teach to do things he does, like racing, boxing, and other typical boy things. Doodle couldn’t do those things so his brother would be mean to him to try to make up for his losses. At the end of the story doodle and his brother are at the swamp and going home when a storm is coming, his brother got scared so he started to run leaving Doodle behind crying, Brother, Brother, don’t leave me! Don’t leave me! After a little while his brother came back to find Doodle lying down on the ground with blood coming from his mouth, he died because his heart exploded.

The story is told from his brother as an adult remembering Doodle and regretting he was mean to him. When a reader finishes the story he or she will remember the story later on in life when he or she is being mean to another person and they might just help or compliment that person instead. The author uses this story to teach the reader that he or she should always be thankful for the people you know and let them know it because they might be gone before you know it. The brother was really cruel to Doodle. He did things that could endanger Doodles life. He would pull the wagon doodle rode around in as fast he could to try and hurt Doodle by tipping. He made Doodle go up in the loft of the barn and touch his own coffin just to be mean.

In the story his brother thought There is within me (and with sadness I have watched it in others) a knot of cruelty borne by the stream of love, much as our blood sometimes bears the seed of our destruction, and at times I was mean to Doodle. Doodles brother didn’t regret it then, but he sure regrets it now. He regrets it know because he probably thinks being cruel to him by leaving him at the swamp during the storm killed Doodle. The brother probably regrets his pride being in the way of their relationship. Even when Doodle was a baby his brother didn’t want his little brother to be crippled so he thought about smothering him with a pillow to get rid of him.

In the story his brother thinks When Doodle was five years old, I was embarrassed at having a brother of that age who couldn’t walk….. When his brother was young he probably did not want to accept Doodles handicap because he still wanted a brother to be proud of. Doodle was pushed to do things his doctor said that he shouldn’t do because his heart might not be able to take it. His brother still made Doodle do those things so he wouldn’t be as embarrassed of Doodle. In the story Doodle never told his brother he loved him but he didn’t have to because he showed it. Doodles parents probably never knew that his brother was mean to him because he never told.

Doodle always pushed himself to do what his brother said so he would make him happy and be able to go with him places. Doodle always wanted to be with his brother and he usually was. His brother never did anything to show Doodle he loved him while he was alive because he didn’t really know that he loved Doodle until he was dead. In the story when Doodle dies it says I began to weep, and the tear-blurred vision in red before me looked very familiar. Doodle! I screamed above the pounding storm and threw my body to the earth above his. For a long, long time, it seemed forever, I lay there crying, sheltering my fallen scarlet ibis from the heresy of rain.

Usually, people cry if others die because they loved the person died. He regrets never saying he loved Doodle. James Hurst uses this story to help readers from making the same mistake as Doodles brother. Doodles brother was always mean to him. In real life people should treat others how they want to be treated. His pride also ruined his relationship with his brother. Even at school kids become like his brother because their ego gets high and they make fun of other people because they have a disability or don’t have the expensive clothes. Doodle probably never knew if his brother loved him or not because his brother never told him. Every day a person should tell the people they love that they do so they won’t feel like Doodles brother. In general the author used this story to show a person should treat others well, never let an ego get in the way of relationships, and let people know you love them.

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