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In the “Scarlet Ibis” by James Hurst, the child is not named at birth, as he is not expected to survive. “Everybody thought he was going to die.” The narrator, Brother, says, “He was born when I was six and was, from the outset, a disappointment.” Daddy had a local carpenter prepare an infant-sized coffin. It is not until he survives to be three months old that his parents decide to name him William Armstrong. The name does not include the family’s surname. The narrator, Brother, describes the name as “good only on a tombstone.” The family uses this name for the child until he surprises them and learns to crawl, albeit backwards. He crawled around like a “doodlebug,” thus William Armstrong was nicknamed Doodle by Brother.
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