The Scarlet Ibis by James Hurst tells the story of two brothers, Doodle and William Armstrong, living in a rural Southern town during the Great Depression. The five main characters in this short story are Doodle, William, Mama, Daddy and Red.
Doodle is the younger brother of William and the protagonist of the short story. He was born with a weak heart and isn’t expected to live very long due to his disability; however, he is determined to prove everyone wrong by trying to do more than just survive. He’s an innocent child who loves nature and appreciates beauty even though his life won’t last much longer. In spite of his physical limitations he remains hopeful for a better future (Meyerhoff & Dooling).
William is Doodle’s older brother who initially resents him because he feels responsible for it being born disabled but eventually grows to love him as time passes on. As well as being protective over Doodle, William also attempts to teach him how to be “normal”, including teaching him how to walk despite opposition from their parents (Meyerhoff & Dooling).
Who are the five main characters in The Scarlet Ibis by James Hurst1 ? Name them, and tell me something about each
Mama is the boys’ mother who suffers from depression due mostly to her difficult life circumstances but still tries her best when it comes down taking care of her young sons. She hardly shows any emotions towards them or even expresses that she loves them which can make it hard for readers not familiar with Southern culture at the time understand why she acts this way (Olds).
Daddy is their father figure who works hard in order maintain their family income while also providing emotional support for his sons by understanding that they have difficulties accepting each other’s differences. It can be said that without Daddy’s presence neither boy would have been able find peace within themselves or develop into stronger individuals (Olds).
Lastly there’s Red-the foreshadowed death figure represented by a red ibis found dead near their house shortly after Doodle was born . This bird symbolizes both death itself as well as what fate holds for young Doodle given his condition; thus adding tension throughout narrative until its climax moment when Doodle runs off into stormy sky proclaiming “brother mine!” indicating acceptance towards own mortality (Hurst 22-23).. Throughout whole narrative red ibis serves reminder how fragile lives can be no matter age or hardships faced along way which allows reader connect further with characters emotional struggle leading up ending scene( Olds ).