The Scarlet Ibis

Do you think the narrator makes any kind of discovery at the story's end, as he cradles his brother's little body?


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Just before Doodle's death, the author infuses the scene with further clues that something bad is going to happen. Often in literature the weather will suit the ensuing events, and in this case, a storm hits as they are practicing rowing out on the river. The narrator suspected the storm was coming, but he still chose to go out with Doodle anyway, once again letting his pride rule his decisions. This storm parallels the one that ruined the cotton crop earlier in the summer.

Another haunting parallel to an earlier part of the story is drawn just before Doodle's death, too. Doodle says, "Don't leave me, brother!" just like he did when the narrator took him to see his casket in the barn. Both times, Doodle was faced with death, the first figurative and the second literal. The difference is the choice the narrator makes in both cases; in the first, the narrator stays. In the second, the narrator's pride once again wins out and he walks away from his ailing brother, and this neglect ultimately leads to Doodle's demise.