Joined: 9 Jun 2008
I know one of the worst things you could read when you aren't made to read them.
But this is the best paper I've ever wrote. At least I think it is.
Comment and enjoy!
In the short story, “The Scarlet Ibis”, James Hurst uses indirect characterization
to reveal that pride can be a positive as well as a negative aspect in a person’s life.
When a person has a very high level of pride, they can be on cloud nine. When a person is
on cloud nine, they are just so blissful with their life. They would feel like they could
do anything and will accomplish anything, too. Pride can be beautiful, by pushing someone
farther than they have ever gone before, but it can also be a very harmful, by pushing
someone too far and maybe hurting them for life. In “The Scarlet Ibis” James Hurst
uses indirect characterization, specifically on how the character felt and thought, to
show that pride can be a positive as well as a negative aspect in a person’s life. The
story is told through a flashback and is about Doodle, who was born with a weak heart.
Everyone thought that Doodle was going to die right after he was born, but he did not at
all. Doodle’s older brother, who is the narrator, tries to make Doodle as normal as
possible. To make him more normal he teaches Doodle how to walk. This took a lot of time,
but finally Doodle learned and because of Doodle’s older brother’s pride, he decided
he should teach him even more skills. At the end, Doodle was taught on how to row, climb,
run, fight, and even swim (Hurst 246, 349). The narrator taught Doodle those skills, but
it was only because he was embarrassed of Doodle not being able to walk like a standard
human being, and the author shows us this through indirect characterization. One day while
Doodle was practicing to row on the lake, a storm headed in. Both of the boys wanted to
get back to the house, because they were scared of the storm, fast, but Doodle was not
fast enough. “The knowledge that Doodle’s and my plans had come to naught was bitter,
and that streak of cruelty within me awakened. I ran as fast as I could, leaving him far
behind with a wall of rain dividing us…He did not answer, so I placed my hand on his
forehead and lifted his head. Limply, he fell backward onto the earth” (Hurst 353, 354).
The narrator pushed Doodle too far, because of his pride. He could not let his pride down,
after all, he was feeling great, but it cost him Doodle’s life. The narrator’s pride
took over his life, and instead, he should have had pride in moderation and be aware of
his real motives. James Hurst shows the narrator’s pride by indirect characterization
and if one character acted differently, the story’s theme would be very different.
“The Scarlet Ibis” by James Hurst is a short story about how pride can take over a
person’s life and can lead into a negative aspect by using indirect
btw: If you think some part is confusing...just let me know. I can take anything!