The Scarlet Ibis Summary

The Scarlet Ibis summary

In “The Scarlet Ibis,” Brother recalls the summer when a scarlet ibis appeared in his family’s garden. This scarlet ibis became a symbol of the narrator's little brother Doodle, a sickly child who dies in a storm that summer.

“The Scarlet Ibis” summary key points:

  • He also remembers the birth of his mentally disabled brother Doodle, which so disappointed him that he planned to kill Doodle until the little boy grinned at him.

  • Brother becomes Doodle’s caretaker; sometimes kind and sometimes cruel, Brother teaches Doodle to walk out of embarrassment rather than love, to his own shame.

  • With school approaching, Brother pushes Doodle to learn to run and climb trees. The scarlet ibis, blown off course, dies in his family’s yard, and the saddened Doodle buries it.

  • On the way home after a disastrous rowing lesson, Brother deliberately leaves the slower Doodle behind in a storm; he returns to find him dead on the ground like the scarlet ibis.


"The Scarlet Ibis" opens with the narrator, Brother, reminiscing about a remarkable event that took place when he was a young boy at his...

(The entire section is 807 words.)