In "The Scarlet Ibis," how are Doodle and his older brother alike and different?

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litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Both Doodle and Brother are stubborn, but Brother is self-centered and Doodle is sensitive to others.

Both Doodle and Brother are very persistent.  When Doodle was born, everyone assumed that he would die soon.  His father even made him a coffin.  However, the boy survived longer than expected.  Even with physical and mental handicaps, he still managed to be fairly independent.

Brother teaching Doodle to walk is another example of their personalities.

Doodle was five years old when I turned 13. I was embarrassed at having a brother of that age who couldn't walk, so I set out to teach him.

This incident demonstrates both of their persistence, because Brother is determined to get Doodle to walk, and Doodle is determined to walk.  He does learn to walk.

The brothers are also different because while Brother is self-centered and has a cruel streak, Doodle is gentle and fascinated by the world.  When Brother shows him Old Woman swamp, he cries because it is “so pretty.”  He is also the only one who thinks to bury the bird.

Read the study guide:
The Scarlet Ibis

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