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What happens to Doodle at the end of "The Scarlet Ibis" ?

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tlouzon | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 22, 2012 at 5:01 PM via web

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What happens to Doodle at the end of "The Scarlet Ibis" ?

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vmoriarity | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Adjunct Educator

Posted August 22, 2012 at 10:20 PM (Answer #1)

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Doodle dies at the end of "The Scarlet Ibis" as a result of his brother's pride.  The narrator pushes his brother to walk and run so that he can keep up with the other school boys.  While this may seem like a selfless act initially, the narrator admits it was done out of embarassment that his brother was crippled. 

It is clear that Doodle died when the narrator "placed his hand on his [Doodle's] forehead" and "limply, he fell backward onto the earth."  The reference to the blood coming from Doodle's mouth and staining his shirt red reminds the reader of the scarlet ibis's death.  Like Doodle, it tucked its legs under itself in death.  The narrator covers the body and refers to Doodle as his scarlet ibis and cries as he shelters the body from the rain that covers them.  The rain emphasizes the mood of sadness when Doodle dies.

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