Saturday, May 12, 2012

A Portrait of a Young Boy

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In James Hurst’s “The Scarlet Ibis,” a young boy is killed by pride. The narrator in this story has a younger brother with disabilities no one can change. The narrator tries to help Doodle to walk but for all the wrong reasons. The narrator’s self-absorption pushes Doodle to the braking point and the narrator feels completely guilty of the crime he has committed. Although he did a great favor for Doodle, the reader is lead to believe that the death of Doodle was the narrator’s entire fault.


When the reader begins this short story they see that having a high pride level is a priority in the narrator’s life. When Doodle was first born the narrator did not even want to touch him. He was highly embarrassed in the fact that his brother had a problem and he did not want to admit to it. Pride makes the narrator feel that his brother is useless and unimportant. When the narrator begins to try to help Doodle it is all for the wrong reasons. These reasons being that he wants to have pride in his family and not be embarrassed by them. Pride in this story makes the reader feel that the narrator is a moron in not accepting people for who they are.


The reader also observes that the narrator is self-centered. When the narrator brings Doodle places in his wagon he lets him fall out and the narrator does not even care. He makes Doodle feel like less of a person. He daunts Doodle with the coffin made at his birth to make Doodle feel like no one believed he would make it very long. When the narrator begins to help Doodle he does not do it for the sake of Doodle. The narrator does not want to go to school having to carry his brother around watching him all day long and not having fun for himself. The narrator feels very burdened down by Doodle. He feels that Doodle was place on the Earth only to stop the narrator from doing anything he wants to do.


When the narrator tells his family what he has done, he feels very guilty about why he did it. He did not feel bad for helping Doodle, but he did not believe anymore in the reasons he did it. He begins to feel love for his brother, but he also feels anger. He begins to push his brother farther than ever to get ready for school. A storm comes one day when they were practicing. They begin to run home and the narrator runs faster. Although Doodle could not keep up he tries his best, but he could not do it. He collapses on the ground and dies. The narrator then feels like his brother’s death was his unabridged fault.


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In this story, pride, self-centeredness, and guilt killed a little bit of everyone. Although the reader my think the narrator killed his brother, some people would have a argument for that. Speaking in opinion, living for a short time and doing something no one thought was possible is better than living forever and doing nothing. When Doodle dies, it is almost like a piece of the narrator dies with Doodle.





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