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The Scarlet Ibis
Transcript of The Scarlet Ibis
Bleeding tree: A tree found in the south. When a branch is cut off it exudes a red sap that appears to be blood.
"It was bad enough having an invalid brother, but having one who possibly was not all there was unbearable, so I began to make plans to kill him by smothering him with a pillow. However, one afternoon as I watched him... he looked straight at me and grinned. I skipped through the rooms, down the echoing halls, shouting ,"Mama, he smiled. He's all there! He's all there!" and he was."
This quote is the first time that the narrator feels compassion towards Doodle. Before this he does not want Doodle for a brother and even considers killing him. Upon seeing the boy grin as he does, the narrator feels hope that he might one day have a normal brother instead of an empty shell.
"[Doodle] talked so much that we all quit listening to what he said. It was about this time that Daddy built him a go-cart and I had to pull him around. At first I just paraded him up and down the piazza, but then he started crying to be taken out into the yard, and it ended up by my having to lug him where ever I went."
At this point in the story, the narrator and Doodle begin to form a brotherly bond by spending so much time together. This is also when the narrator starts to feel embarrassed to drag his brother around everywhere he goes. This ultimately leads him to his decision to teach Doddle how to walk for his own selfish purposes.
"[Teaching Doodle to walk] seemed so hopeless from the beginning that it's a miracle I didn't give up. But everyone needs someone or something to be proud of, and Doodle had become mine."
This quote describes the fact that the narrator has come to love Doodle. He is proud of Doodle, but it is for his own reasons. He is now happy to have a brother who he will not be embarrassed to bring to school or show to his friends. His pride is the reason behind him teaching Doodle how to walk.
In the short story "The Scarlet Ibis", James Hurst suggests that when it comes to relationships people may have ulterior motives. Although they may have a close brotherly bond they might just be looking out for their own selfish intentions.
Vermillion: Bright Red
Infallibility: The state or condition of being incapable of error
By Amanda and Elise