Posted: March 9th, 2023

What is the “central idea” of the story The Scarlet Ibis by James Hurst1. Give three reasons to support your argument





The central idea of the story The Scarlet Ibis by James Hurst is that there are both negative and positive repercussions for trying to shape our lives according to our own plans and goals. This theme is demonstrated throughout the story as Doodle, an ill-fated young boy with a physical disability, has his life shaped by his brother’s attempt to make him normal.

First, the story illustrates how trying to impose one’s own ideals may cause serious harm if those objectives are impossible or highly unlikely to be met. For instance, despite the fact that it was clear that Doodle would not be able to reach his brother’s expectations of being “normal” (Hurst 5), he still pushed him hard in order for him to meet them which eventually led to Doodle’s death (Hurst 17). This demonstrates how imposing unrealistic goals on someone can have devastating effects.

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Second, this short story highlights how attempting to change someone’s identity might lead people into feeling disconnected from who they truly are. The narrator states: “I felt ashamed when I looked at him…He had become something foreign and strange” (Hurst 6). Here we see how accepting what one cannot change and embracing their true selves can provide more fulfillment than constantly striving for conformity. Therefore, it is essential that each person should identify who they are outside of what others expect from them.

What is the “central idea” of the story The Scarlet Ibis by James Hurst1. Give three reasons to support your argument

Finally, The Scarlet Ibis serves as a reminder of how powerful love can be when applied with thoughtfulness and understanding instead of being used as a tool for control and manipulation. Even though Doodle could not meet his brother’s impossibly high expectations due to his physical limitations, he still greatly appreciated all the effort put forth by his sibling in attempt to help him become “normal” (Hurst 16). Doodle interpreted these attempts as pure acts of kindness rather than controlling behavior because they were done out of genuine affection instead of pressure or coercion which ultimately resulted in them having an unbreakable bond until the very end even after embarking on different paths towards self-discovery (Mueller 1). Thus this narrative suggests that one should strive nurture relationships between loved ones through tenderness instead of enforcing societal standards upon them out of fear or guilt because doing so may prevent strong bonds from forming between individuals along with many other issues such as insecurity or resentment arising within those involved in said relationship .

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In conclusion ,The Scarlet Ibis by James Hurst emphasizes key themes such as understanding what you cannot change while still loving unconditionally ,the dangers associated with attempting to control other people in order induce conformity ,and appreciating yourself regardless if your aspirations align society’s predetermined norms or not . All three points together form part o fthe central idea presented within this well crafted narrative .




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