I need help starting a thesis on "The Scarlet Ibis" and "Thank You Ma'am." Has anyone read them who could help me out?  I'm at a loss here.

Expert Answers
bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

    "The Scarlet Ibis" is a short story by James Hurst. It tells the story of Doodle, a sickly young boy who at birth is not expected to live. However, Doodle survives in part through the persistence and companionship--and occasional cruelty--of his brother (the narrator of the story), whose main motivation is to make Doodle like other kids in order to avoid the embarrassment of having a disabled brother. Doodle surprises his relatives with his accomplishments, eventually learning to walk, swim, and lie. But one summer, a hurricane brings forth a scarlet ibis, far from its own native territory, which falls dead in Doodle's yard. He sees it as a bad omen and tragedy stikes soon after.

James Kelley eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I haven't read "The Scarlet Ibis," but in reviewing the enotes study guide for that story, I see what might be a starting point for an essay comparing that story with Langston Hughes' "Thank You Ma'am."

The study guide for "The Scarlet Ibis" says that the story has episode of cruelty that give way to a sense of shared humanity. Hughes' story (although it offers a very differentl story line) may be seen in much the same way.