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“The Scarlet Ibis” is a story about how Doodle was born in such a poor condition, that his family thought he wouldn’t live past three months. He surprised them though and pulled through, his older brother decided that he was able to teach Doodle how to walk by the time he was 5. One day the whole family was outside and they saw a scarlet Ibis in the bleeding tree. The bird fell out of the tree and plummeted to its death, an example of foreshadowing for Doodle’s future. Later on, Doodle’s brother leaves him in the rain after he tripped and fell. This was the point to where Doodle lost his life and we are revealed by the narrator, Doodle’s brother, that he had truly started to care for his younger brother and grown attached to him. A symbol is a form of literature that is used to represent something else in a deeper way, they could be characters or objects. In the “Scarlet Ibis”, James Hurst uses the barn loft, the bird, scarlet Ibis, and the nickname, Doodle as symbols to offer greater insight into abstract ideas that are difficult to understand on their own.Hurst uses the barn loft in the story to illustrate the haunting fact, that even though Doodle is getting better, there is a foreshadowing that he may get worse. The barn loft holds the coffin intended for Doodle from when he was a baby. Once Doodle could walk, they also put his go-cart up in the loft. They are both trophies showing how he got over these hardships, but we can also see it how Doodle got better for a bit, but then worse. The few years of Doodle’s life after he was two, could be considered a “surge”. “One day I took him up to the barn loft and showed him his casket, telling him how we all had believed he would die.” (Hurst 432). Brother shows Doodle how he was supposed to die but didn’t, along with later putting up the go-cart to express their process, “And his go-cart was put up in the barn loft (it’s still there) beside his little mahogany coffin.” (Hurst 434).The nickname Doodle, for someone originally named William Armstrong, shows that they had a doubt he would make it far in his existence. “Crawling backward made him look like a doodlebug, so I began to call him Doodle, and in time even Mama and Daddy thought it was a better name than William Armstrong.” (Hurst 430). Brother and his parents thought that calling him something named after a bug was a better fit than the solid name they had originally gone with, “They named him William Armstrong, which was like tying a big tail on a small kite. Such a name only sounds good on a tombstone.” (Hurst 428).  The only family member that was against calling him Doodle, was his aunt, who believed that caul babies would grow up to be saints and deserved respect from others. But Doodle is broken and the nickname was a way for Brother to get through their lives together and not really connect with him. The scarlet Ibis is a big part of the story, it’s the title, it’s death foreshadows Doodle’s.  “At that moment the bird began to flutter but the wings were uncoordinated and amid much flapping and a spray of flying feathers, it tumbled down, bumping through the limbs of the bleeding tree and landing at our feet with a thud.” (Hurst 439). “I heard Doodle, who had fallen behind, crying out, “Brother, Brother, don’t leave me! Don’t leave me!” (Hurst 441). These two quotes show that, similar to how Doodle had attempted running, the Ibis attempted flight. Both failed and their legs/wings/coordination gave out on them. Doodle hit the ground while the Ibis hit the tree limbs, and then fell to the ground as well. Both Doodle and the Ibis died after hitting the ground, their bodies could not take the fall or the previous exhaustion they put it through. The only difference was that Doodle had the chance to cry for help but Brother continued running, not caring too much for his younger disable sibling.Hurst uses the barn loft, the nickname Doodle, and the scarlet Ibis as just a few symbols in “The Scarlet Ibis”.  The barn loft holds both tragedies and winnings of Doodle in his short life, the coffin and the go-cart are his trophies of sorts The Scarlet Ibis is a symbol of Doodle, it’s red, it lands in the bleeding tree, and Doodle is also described as red when he was born. Giving Doodle the nickname, Doodle. It expresses how they think he won’t make it too far along so they can just give him a sorts of ‘whatever’ name. The outcome of the Ibis’ life is a representation of Doodles. Authors like to use symbolism to give a second meaning to important parts of their stories.

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