In "The Scarlet Ibis", what initiation/rite of passage did the main character, Brother/Doodle's brother, go through?

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kmj23 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Another rite of passage that Brother went through is the transition from being a child to early adulthood. Brother matured considerably in the story and this is shown most clearly through his role as a teacher to his brother, Doodle.

In the story, Brother not only teaches Doodle how to walk, but believing in his own "infallibility," then sets out to teach Doodle a number of other life skills, including running, rowing, and climbing trees.

This teacher role demonstrates that Brother is no longer an immature child. Despite being only thirteen years old, Brother is firmly on the road to adulthood. Unfortunately, his opportunity to really embrace this role as a teacher is cut short by Doodle's tragic and untimely death. However, it still provides evidence of Brother's transition towards an adult life, characterized by responsibility and maturity.

ladyvols1 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In "The Scarlet Ibis", Brother went through the right of passage of death.  He experienced the death of his brother, Doodle. Brother also experienced, with this death, that he was not infallible.  Brother had to face the truth that his love for his brother was overshadowed by his pride and arrogance.

Brother was a young man involved in his handicapped brother's life because their parents insisted that Brother take care of Doodle.  Brother loved his younger brother, but did not accept him.  Brother was prideful, arrogant, and overbearing.  He wanted to push Doodle to achieve more and more.  Yet, these achievements were not for Doodle, but for his own desire not to be teased, poked and prodded about being with a "handicapped" kid all the time.

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The Scarlet Ibis

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