The Scarlet Ibis by James Hurst

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How are Doodle and his brother similar in "The Scarlet Ibis"?  

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Doodle and his brother are both determined.

Doodle and his brother are alike in that they do not give up.  When Doodle was born, everyone was sure he would die.  He was so small and sickly that they built a coffin for him.  Yet Doodle made it.  He lived, and everything was a struggle.  Still, he began to do more and more things regular kids could do.

Brother was also very dedicated.  He was bound and determined to teach Doodle to walk, even though everyone was sure that it was not possible.  Brother and Doodle did not give up. Just as Doodle taught himself to crawl, crawling backward but still crawling, Brother taught Doodle to walk. Neither of them gave in, ever.

Doodle is afraid to learn to walk at first.  Everyone has told him he can’t, and he asks his brother not to hurt him.  However, Doodle’s brother is convinced that with enough hard work they can beat the odds again.

It seemed so hopeless from the beginning that it's a miracle I didn't give up. But all of us must have something or someone to be proud of, and Doodle had become mine. I did not know then that pride is a wonderful, terrible thing, a seed that bears two vines, life and death.

Walking is a monumental struggle for Doodle.  At first all he can do is stand, and then he can take a few steps.  The two boys work on it very hard, pushing and pushing past what seems like the limits of endurance.

Doodle does learn to walk, shocking his parents.  The two boys keep Doodle’s walking a surprise, and on his sixth birthday they reveal it to the family members.  

Unfortunately, Doodle’s brother pushes him too far.  He doesn’t just want him to walk.  Doodle wants a brother who can run and jump and do the things normal kids do.  Doodle tries, but he is too weak and he dies.  His brother feels terrible, realizing that he seems to be the reason for his brother’s early death.  Sometimes pushing too hard is not a good thing.


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