What is the resolution of "The Scarlet Ibis"?

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clane's profile pic

clane | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

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The resolution in the Scarlet Ibis is that Doodle's body finally gives out and he dies. His brother pushed him too far, too fast, and on that final rainy day when he couldn't run home as fast as his brother and the tree branch struck him he could no longer hang on to life. Doodle, in death,  resembles the scarlet ibis that died earlier in the story. Doodle's brother feels so guilty and sad, but Doodle did live longer than anyone ever thought he could and his brother showed him in that final summer how to really live like a normal boy which was what Doodle had always wanted. 

jamie-wheeler's profile pic

Jamie Wheeler | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

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Doodle, who has begged Brother not to leave him, dies.  Brother had been trying to teach him to row, much as he had taught him other things, like walking.  But Brother's motivations had never been altrustic.  He wanted Doodle to walk because he was ashamed of having a disabled brother. 

On this fateful day, the boys had been at a picnic with other relatives.  An odd noise from the garden leads to the discovery of the exotic bird, who is bleeding and dying.  Though warned not to touch the bird, Doodle takes it upon himself to bury it. 

Brother, aware that his sibling has been taking a steady turn for the worse health-wise, does not let up on Doodle.  After the burial, he insists the pair go out for a rowing lessons.  The storm, which had blown the scarlet ibis off course and probably killed him, is getting nearer to the lake where they are practicing.  Trying to make it home, Doodle pleads with brother to wait and help.  He does not.  When he realizes Doodle is too long in coming, Brother tracks back and finds Doodle dead, the stains on his clothing reminiscient of the dead, exotic bird they had just buried.  The comparision is too much for Brother too bear.  He breaks down, weeping.  It's all he can do. 


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