Every character in the story, "The Scarlet Ibis," besides Aunt Nicey, believes that William Armstrong, aka Doodle, is going to die shortly after death. This is the doctor's sentiment as well because he feels Doodle's heart is too weak to survive. The farm's carpenter even builds Doodle a small casket in anticipation of his death.
Brother's over-enthusiasm to make Doodle "normal" pushes Doodle to do many unexpected physical things. Brother relentlessly forces Doodle to stand and then walk even though Doodle is weak and tires easily. He also hopes Doodle will learn to swim and climb a rope. Although Doodle tries, he is unable to successfully meet the prideful desires of Brother. Another thing Doodle accomplishes is that he is able to speak. Doodle's mother thought that he was perhaps "not right in the head;" however, when Doodle smiles at Brother, the family knows that Doodle is not mentally challenged.
Doodle is a symbol of overcoming hardships and trying to prove his worth. Unfortunately, Brother's cruel pride leads to his destruction when he leaves Doodle alone in a rain storm, and Doodle dies.