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"The Scarlet Ibis" Analysis

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Kelly K

on 23 October 2012

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Transcript of "The Scarlet Ibis" Analysis

The Scarlet Ibis Analysis By Kelly Kennedy Part I Throughout the story, the once hard-hearted boy, blinded by pride and desires, who narrates “The Scarlet Ibis” matures into a man who accepts and loves his brother, and a man who understands the impact of his actions on those close to him. Part II "Doodle told them it was I who had taught him to walk, so everyone wanted to hug me, and I began to cry.
"What are you crying for?" asked Daddy, but I couldn't answer. They did not know that I did it for myself, that pride, whose slave I was, spoke to me louder than all their voices, and that Doodle walked only because I was ashamed of having a crippled brother." The narrator’s diction, such as “slave,” “myself,” and “crippled” add to the excerpt by showing how regretful the author is of his motives for helping Doodle. Doodle’s brother is embarrassed that he taught Doodle to walk for selfish purposes, and not to help Doodle. The first-person perspective allows the reader to understand the narrator’s emotions. Readers are able to feel how ashamed the narrator is of having a handicapped brother, and of his motives for teaching Doodle to walk. The narrator’s ashamed tone is evident throughout the selection. Doodle’s brother's pride is controlling himself and his actions, and he is embarrassed to admit that to his family. The selection helps Doodle’s brother to realize how his pride is controlling him. After that, he is able to take the first steps towards conquering the emotion. The excerpt helps the reader to understand how the narrator feels about his brother. Instead of being proud of Doodle’s ability to walk, he is ashamed that Doodle cannot do everything a normal boy can do. The narrator is more concerned about himself than Doodle. Part III "Doodle and I spent lots of time thinking about our future. We decided that when we were grown we'd live in Old Woman Swamp and pick dog-tongue for a living. Beside the stream, he planned, we'd build us a house of whispering leaves and the swamp birds would be our chickens. All day long (when we weren't gathering dog’s-tongue) we'd swing through the cypresses on the rope vines, and if it rained we'd huddle beneath an umbrella tree and play stickfrog. Mama and Daddy could come and live with us if they wanted to. He even came up with the idea that he could marry Mama and I could marry Daddy. Of course, I was old enough to know this wouldn't work out, but the picture he painted was so beautiful and serene that all I could do was whisper Yes, yes." In the above selection, The narrator’s ashamed tone is clearly exhibited through the use of first-person point-of-view and the examples of diction, such as “I did it for myself” and “crippled brother” The paragraph about Doodle and his brother’s future has a calm, hopeful tone. Diction such as “serene,” “beautiful,” and “whisper,” along with first-person narration help to paint a picture of a better life for the narrator and Doodle. The diction in the selection helps us as readers to understand how much Doodle’s brother longs for a peaceful future, for both him and his brother. This is shown through the repetition of the word “yes” and the end of the selection, in addition to words and figurative language like “picture he painted” and “so beautiful and serene.” The first-person perspective allows the reader to understand how much the narrator longs for this peaceful future. When he says “our future,” we understand that Doodle’s brother expects Doodle to be able to do everything a normal person can do sometime in the future. The tone in this selection is longing and hopeful. The narrator wishes for this future that he has built up in his mind, or one that is equally peaceful and happy. This selection helps us to realize that the narrator wants his brother to be able to do everything a normal boy can. In the end, he ran away from Doodle not only because his pride was injured, but also because his hopes and dreams had been dashed. Also, we are able to understand through this selection that the narrator loves his brother, even though he is mean to him at times (like all siblings). He wants Doodle and himself to share a future, and spends a lot of time with his brother. The major feeling the narrator was feeling in the selection was shame. He was embarrassed that the only reason he helped his brother was to help himself. During this selection, Doodle had just learned to walk, and was demonstrating his ability to the rest of his family. The picture is of a person walking, just like Doodle. During the excerpt, Doodle and the narrator are planning their future together and bonding as brothers. They show their love and affection for one another. The brothers planned their life in Old Woman Swamp. This picture is of a swamp, similar to where the brothers wanted to live when they grew up. The person in this picture is crying, just like how the narrator was crying over his pride. Part IV This is supposed to be a picture of paradise. The future Doodle and his brother were planning was a paradise, and was very unrealistic. Although it cost him his only brother, the narrator is able to mature into a wise, perspective man; he realizes that his early actions motivated by pride and desires were mistakes that cost him the person he loved most in the world. Doodle Narrator
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