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What can be another symbol for Doodle or the narrator in the story The Scarlet...

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planbsk8er | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 19, 2012 at 9:30 AM via web

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What can be another symbol for Doodle or the narrator in the story The Scarlet Ibis?

It's my assignment for English Honors. I can't use any symbolism from the story. It can be an animal, human, or something.

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted January 20, 2012 at 7:54 AM (Answer #1)

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Doodle, from James Hurst's short story The Scarlet Ibis, can be symbolized by many different things. Given that you are not allowed to use anything from the novel, and the text is very specific about symbolism and Doodle, your world of choices is actually very open to different symbols.

Here are some suggestions:

1. Doodle is "broken." It is stated at the very beginning when the narrator states that his father has already made him a coffin. Therefore, a broken toy could symbolize him based upon his age and the fact that he is "broken" himself.

2. Doodle could also be represented by a butterfly. The symbol of the butterfly represents regeneration. Those who believe in life after death can use this image to represent Doodle after his death (with hopes that he will not be "broken" like he was in life).

3. Similar to the butterfly, Doodle could be represented by the symbol of the phoenix. Again, the phoenix represents rebirth. Given that the phoenix is a fire-bird, this symbolic image would parallel that of the scarlet ibis (which is red as well).


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