The Scarlet Ibis By James Hurst October English Mr K sample personal statement essay how to write a thesis statement what is a thesis statement in
The Scarlet Ibis, written by James Hurst, is an intriguing piece of realistic fiction that shows how symbols can have double meanings while telling about the relationship between a boy named Doodle and his family.
The dying scarlet ibis that the family encounters in the final section of the story is a clear symbol for Doodle. Just like Doodle, the ibis's strength has diminished, and though it has fought through a terrible storm it simply cannot hold on any longer, alone and weak. The narrator does not realize just how alike Doodle and the ibis are until he holds Doodle's body in his arms at the very end, noticing the red of Doodle's blood and the thinness of his limbs. The story builds up to the appearance of this powerful symbol at the climax.
The color red is a powerful motif throughout this text. The title itself is "The Scarlet Ibis," and scarlet is a shade of red. The ibis perches in the bleeding tree, which reminds readers of the color red as well. When Doodle dies, his blood stains his skin and his shirt red. Aside from these obvious references, the narrator also describes Doodle's body as red when he is a baby: "a tiny body which was red and shriveled" (Part I). In this story, the color red symbolizes death—however, it also symbolizes beauty, through the beautiful ibis, its tree, and nature. This may seem paradoxical, but it is a fitting representation of the jumble of contradictions that comprise Doodle's life.
The grindstone is a much subtler symbol. In the beginning, the narrator tells readers that the grindstone has taken the place of the bleeding tree, which was where the scarlet ibis, which symbolizes Doodle, was perched. In this way, the grindstone serves as a stand-in for Doodle himself, now that he is not part of the narrator's life. The narrator describes the grindstone as grinding away the past and bringing him back to the time of all his memories with Doodle. It is a symbol for the past and the means by which the narrator brings back his memories.
The Scarlet Ibis study guide contains a biography of James Hurst, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.
The Scarlet Ibis essays are academic essays for citation. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of The Scarlet Ibis by James Hurst.