Scarlet Ibis Essay

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Guilty or Not Guilty Sometimes pride can reason in life and death. In the short story, “The Scarlet Ibis” by James Hurst, there are two brothers from a family that live in the South. One of the brothers is named Doodle, who was born disabled. Doodle was an embarrassment to the older brother, so the older brother sets out to teach him how to walk, to climb, to swim, etc. One day while eating, the family spots a scarlet ibis on a tree but later it dies because of the environmental change. Later on, the older brother pushed Doodle so hard, slowly weakening Doodle and when the storm comes, as they’re running the older brother decides to ditch Doodle. Leaving Doodle behind, the older brother goes back to find Doodle who has not come back yet and the older brother sees that Doodle is bleeding from his mouth and neck causing Doodle’s death. Many people question if it is the older brother’s fault, and it is his fault because of his lack of responsibility, pushing Doodle to his limits, and how the older brother just left him in the storm. Since the brother is older than Doodle, the older brother is responsible for Doodle’s action and risks because the doctor has given a list of what not to do. Doodle was born weak and should not do anything extreme, “The doctor had said that he mustn’t get too excited, too hot, too cold, or too tired and that he must always be treated gently. A long list of don’ts went with him, all of which I ignored once we got out of the house” (Hurst 345). The doctor specifically told the older brother not to treat Doodle rough or do anything that requires a great amount of effort, but in the end the older brother let his pride get ahead of him and disregarded the risks. After successfully teaching Doodle something, the older brother believed in his infallibility and pushed Doodle further over his limits. Some people may say that it is not the
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