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    An Analysis of Human Being’s Cruelty in the Scarlet Ibis by James Hurst

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    In James Hurst’s, “The Scarlet Ibis,” Brother is cruel to Doodle for several reasons, including shame, and Doodle strangely enough, accepts his mistreatment, because he is afraid of being abandoned.

    In the short story, Brother is cruel to Doodle and treats him very badly, mainly because Brother is ashamed of his disability. For example, Brother says that he wanted to kill Doodle because he couldn’t bear the thought of having an invalid brother who “possibly was not all there.” Brother wanted to kill Doodle because he would rather not have a brother at all than have one that is invalid and isn’t all there. Brother could not bear the thought of having an invalid brother because he wanted a normal brother whom he could play with and do things that all brothers do with each other.

    In addition, Brother said, “I was embarrassed at having a brother of [five years old] who couldn’t walk.” Brother was probably embarrassed that Doodle was five years old and couldn’t even walk, while other five-year-old and younger children were not only walking but learning new things, like riding a bike. Brother was also embarrassed because all his friends’ brothers could all walk, and Brother was afraid of what his friends would think. Brother is basically cruel to Doodle because he wants to have a normal brother like other kids do, that he can play with and do the things that all other brothers do.

    Brother treats Doodle very badly, but Doodle accepts his mistreatment because among other reasons, he fears being abandoned and left behind. For example, Doodle cried, “Don’t go leave me brother,” when he didn’t want to touch his casket and Brother said that he would leave him by himself if he didn’t. Doodle is afraid that Brother will leave him because Doodle knew that Brother wanted a normal’ little brother, and Doodle felt that he wasn’t good enough, so Brother would leave him. The story didn’t mention much about Doodle having friends, so he probably didn’t have any and based on this, Doodle probably felt that Brother would abandon him and that he would be all alone.

    Furthermore, Doodle cried out, “Brother, Brother, don’t leave me!” when brother started to run, after he realized that his plans for Doodle had failed. Doodle most likely looked up to Brother, like every little boy does, and wanted to be just like his older brother. Doodle himself probably also wanted to be normal like everyone else, and he knew that only Brother would help him. Basically, Doodle accepted horrible treatment from brother because he loved his brother as an older brother and as a friend, and he didn’t want to be abandoned by brother, which would have made him feel very alone since he has no other friends.

    Brother and Doodle treated each other in very different ways to extreme extents, Brother was cruel to Doodle, and Doodle received this abuse without complaint, but both learned to love and depend on each other. It is amazing how selfish a person can be, even at the expense of his own family. The two brothers were so different from each other, but they still stuck it out together. Brother treated Doodle in such an unbelievable manner, yet Doodle, so lovingly still listened to his brother and stuck to him. Doodle could have easily not listened to Brother, and told his parents, but he didn’t. Overall, this is a very sad and touching story. It shows the two sides of the true nature of human beings.

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    An Analysis of Human Being’s Cruelty in the Scarlet Ibis by James Hurst. (2022, Dec 14). Retrieved from https://artscolumbia.org/an-analysis-of-human-beings-cruelty-in-the-scarlet-ibis-by-james-hurst/

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