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    An Analysis of Brothers Cruel Personality in James Hurst’s Short Story The Scarlet Ibis

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    Within James Hurst’s “The Scarlet Ibis” story, Brother comes out as a cruel character. Brother illustrates an inclination to cause suffering or pain to others. Alternatively, Brother does not mind the suffering or pain of others. To this end, Brother leaves William Armstrong outside in rainy weather. Moreover, fearing that Armstrong may have limited mental abilities, Brother attempts to kill Armstrong. In addition, Brother compels Armstrong to perform physical activities. This essay analyses “The Scarlet Ibis” to highlight Brother’s cruel personality in light of the following actions: Brother leaves Armstrong outside in rainy weather; Brother attempts to kill Armstrong; and Brother compels Armstrong to perform physical activities.

    Considering that Brother leaves Armstrong outside in rainy weather, Brother illustrates his cruel personality. In this regard, Brother accompanies Armstrong to a place named Horsehead Landing. Here, Armstrong engages in a range of physical activities and thus becomes exhausted. Despite the vulnerable status of Armstrong, Brother ultimately abandons Armstrong at Horsehead Landing. When Brother abandons Armstrong, it is raining. Worse still the exhausted Armstrong is lying on the ground out in the open (Hurst, n.d.).

    While reviewing this scenario, a reader would validly hold that Brother has a cruel personality. Such cruel personality causes Brother to disregard the fact that Armstrong is a younger sibling by six years. Given this age difference, Brother should assume the role of a father figure to Armstrong. Further, Brother disregards the fact that Armstrong suffers from a chronic heart disease. Thanks to this ailment, Brother should not allow Armstrong to be exposed to rain. Moreover, Brother disregards the fact that Armstrong is exhausted after having performed rigorous physical activities. Considering this exhaustion, Brother should not abandon Armstrong out in the cold. For disregarding these facts, Brother underlines his cruel personality.

    In addition, Brother attempts to kill Armstrong out of the fear that Armstrong may have limited mental abilities, thus highlighting his (Brother’s) personality. On this note, Brother decides to end Armstrong’s life by smothering Armstrong with a pillow. Brother thus proceeds to execute this murder, only to be dissuaded by Armstrong’s smile (Ibid.).

    Through these actions, Brother underlines his cruel personality. Such cruel personality causes Brother to disregard the fact that Armstrong has an inalienable right to life. By attempting to kill Armstrong, Brother attempts to take away this absolute right from Armstrong. This way, Brother underlines his cruel personality. If he were not cruel, Brother would not try to kill Armstrong.

    Brother compels Armstrong to perform physical activities, thereby further illustrating his (Brother’s) cruel personality. Brother engages in this cruelty while at Horsehead Landing. Even though he can see that Armstrong is extremely tired, Brother insists that Armstrong should continue performing physical exercises. Armstrong’s protestations to the effect that he is exhausted do not convince Brother to leave Armstrong alone (Ibid.). While analyzing this situation, a reader would validly hold that Brother has a cruel personality.

    This cruel personality causes Brother to disregard the fact that Armstrong reserves the right to determine what amount of physical exercises to perform at any one time. Out of cruelty, Brother thus compels Armstrong to exert himself beyond limits. From this analysis, it is clear that Brother has a cruel personality. In conclusion, within “The Scarlet Ibis”, Brother has a cruel personality. To this end, Brother leaves Armstrong outside in rainy weather. In addition, Brother attempts to kill Armstrong. Moreover, Brother compels Armstrong to perform physical activities. It would be prudent to find out why Hurst depicts Brother as a cruel character.

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    An Analysis of Brothers Cruel Personality in James Hurst’s Short Story The Scarlet Ibis. (2023, Mar 11). Retrieved from https://artscolumbia.org/an-analysis-of-brothers-cruel-personality-in-james-hursts-short-story-the-scarlet-ibis/

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