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The Scarlet Ibis Summary
James Hurst

Everything you need to understand or teach The Scarlet Ibis by James Hurst.

  • The Scarlet Ibis Summary & Study Guide

The Scarlet Ibis Summary

Introduction

“The Scarlet Ibis,” by James Hurst, was first published in the July 1960 issue of the Atlantic Monthly magazine. The story is also available in Elements of Literature: Third Course (published by Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1997). The story focuses on the troubled relationship between two young boys: the narrator and his mentally and physically disabled brother, Doodle. It explores the conflicts between love and pride and draws attention to the effects of familial and societal expectations on those who are handicapped. The narrative unfolds against the background of the carnage of World War I, with its associated themes of the dangers of attempting to make others over in one?s own image, the brotherhood of all mankind, and the waste of life resulting from a lack of love and compassion. In the course of the story, Doodle becomes symbolically identified with a rare and beautiful scarlet ibis which, finding itself...

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