How does the reader know that the story takes place in the South?

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price7781 | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

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There are many clues to the setting of “The Scarlet Ibis” throughout the short story.  Most of them have to do with nature, climate, and the environment.  We can place the story in the region of the South because of the following descriptions:

  • Brother and Doodle’s father is a cotton farmer and his crop is destroyed by a violent storm early in the story.
  • Flowers and trees mentioned in the story and indigenous to the South are magnolias, saw tooth ferns, palmetto fronds, cypress trees
  • Brother and Doodle play in Old Woman Swamp
  • Descriptions of the house—parlor, piazza—indicate a southern style house
  • The summers are hot and the storms coming from the sea are violent.
  • Adults are called Miss Leedie and Aunt Nicey and are representative of southern titles of respect.
  • Superstitions like Doodle’s caul and the sign that the dead scarlet ibis is bad luck can also represent a southern tradition of superstitions.

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