In "The Scarlet Ibis," the ibis itself and the color red are the main symbols within the short story. The ibis represents the narrator's special needs brother, and the color red symbolizes death.Continue Reading
In this short story, a scarlet ibis lands in the narrator's yard while the family is enjoying a meal; its call is heard from the table and draws everyone outside. They find the exotic red bird, pushed off course by a storm, perched in the bleeding tree before it eventually falls from a branch, lands in the dirt and dies.
The only member of the family who takes much notice of the ibis is the narrator's special needs brother, Doodle. Doodle buries the bird in the yard, thus cementing his connection with the ibis.
An ibis is a medium-sized bird with thin, short legs and a long delicate neck, much like Doodle's fragile human frame.
At the story's conclusion, just like the ibis, Doodle gets lost in a rainstorm, falls down and dies from panic and supposed overexertion. Blood is running from Doodle's mouth when the narrator finds his brother’s body. The narrator immediately thinks back to the pile of red that was the ibis after it fell from the bleeding tree and died.Learn more about Literature
“The Scarlet Ibis” is about a boy and his younger invalid brother. The narrator resents his younger brother, nicknamed Doodle, for his physical restrictions and then decides to try to “fix” him. The plan fails, and the narrator abandons Doodle in the end of the story during a storm. The narrator suddenly has a change of heart caused by sense of guilt and love only to find his brother dead.Full Answer >
In literature, symbolism refers to using specific symbols to help represent something else, whether it is an idea or quality. Through this literary element, the different symbols allow readers to better understand and interpret a piece of work.Full Answer >
Wilson Rawls is the author of the children's story "Where the Red Fern Grows." Born Woodrow Wilson Rawls in 1913, he was inspired as a child by Jack London's "The Call of the Wild." He originally wrote "Where the Red Fern Grows" as three installments for the Saturday Evening Post.Full Answer >
There are several methods to identify the theme of a short story, including reading the title and noticing repeating patterns and symbols throughout the story. The theme of a story never completely explains the meaning of it; instead, it just points to the most important idea or the controlling belief.Full Answer >