In "The Scarlet Ibis," is the narrator a developing or dynamic character?

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price7781 | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

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A dynamic character goes through some sort of change or awareness in their beliefs or understanding of their own culpability in a situation.  The narrator, Brother, in “The Scarlet Ibis,” is definitely a dynamic character because he accepts responsibility for Doodle’s death. 

The story begins with Brother returning to the farm and reminiscing about his childhood and especially his brother, Doodle.  As he tells the story about the birth, life, and death of Doodle, he admits to how his own pride to have a normal brother causes him to push Doodle beyond his physical capabilities.  Brother admits that “Doodle walked only because I was ashamed of having a crippled brother.”  In the story, he also realizes (as an adult) “. . . that pride is a wonderful, terrible thing, a seed that bears two vines, life and death.”   Brother recognizes how his pride and unrealistic expectations led to Doodle wanting to please and be accepted by Brother.  Unfortunately, Doodle’s body could not handle the hope Brother had for him.

Because Brother understands the role he played in Doodle’s death and takes responsibility for it, he can be considered a dynamic character who learns from his own flaws and mistakes.  Throughout his life, he comes to understand how and why he caused Doodle’s death, and as an adult, he is willing to accept it.

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