If Doodle were the narrator, how would the story have been different? What type of narrator do think Doodle would be? Would this make the story more or less clear?

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price7781 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Doodle would have been a truthful, honest narrator who would allow us into his innermost thoughts and feelings.  As narrator, Doodle would have told the reader how he felt being pushed to overcome his disability by his Brother.  We would understand the effort and hardship it took to live up to Brother’s expectations.  Because Doodle was such a kind and caring person, we would also understand how his love for his brother caused him to push himself to the limits of his abilities.  We would also better understand Doodle psychologically in scenes such as seeing his own coffin and witnessing the death of the scarlet ibis.   In those scenes, Doodle’s fears are expressed through Brother, and it was not as reliable because it came from a different perspective.  If Doodle had told his own story, the conflict Doodle experienced would have been more credible and real.

The story would be different because we would get a totally different perspective on the events.  The events that took place would become more personal for the reader because Doodle’s perspective would be more powerful.  We would be able to empathize with Doodle more.  In the story, Brother does not win the reader’s sympathy necessarily.  Although we felt bad for him at the end, we knew that through his greed and expectations, he caused Doodle’s death. 

Because Doodle was presented as a loveable, innocent character, we would relate to him more than we did to Brother.  The personal narrative that Brother gave us does allow the reader to search for answers and to struggle with the outcome of the story.  As readers, we tried to figure out the motives of Brother and why he wanted Doodle to be different.  With Brother as the narrator, the story becomes more of a psychological study in what pushes people to do what they do.

Read the study guide:
The Scarlet Ibis

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