The Scarlet Ibis Questions and Answers
by James Hurst

The Scarlet Ibis book cover
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What are 3 examples of imagery in "The Scarlet Ibis?" 

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Thomas Mccord eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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There are lots of examples of imagery in "The Scarlet Ibis." In the first paragraph, for example, the narrator talks about sitting in the "cool, green parlor." This image of the parlor provides both a visual and tactile (feeling) image since the reader immediately imagines the green of this room and experiences the feel of cool air.

Secondly, there is another image in the description of Doodle. When he is born, for instance, he is described as having a "red" and "shriveled" body, just like an old man. By using this image, the narrator reinforces the idea that Doodle was a "disappointment" from the moment of his birth because he was sick and, therefore, lacked the typical physique of a baby boy.

Thirdly, there is another visual image in the final paragraph of the story when the narrator uses the phrase "tear-blurred vision." This image not only tells us how much the narrator cried when his brother died but also enables us to experience this tragic event from his perspective.

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Jason Lulos eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The coffin Doodle's parents had built for him is a symbol/image that suggests the possibility of Doodle's death. When Doodle learns to walk, his cart is placed in the barn beside his coffin. This suggests the possibility that Doodle has progressed, but Brother pushes him too far. 

The color red (scarlet) is a significant image in the story because it connects blood, the ibis, and Doodle (his blood upon his death). When the scarlet ibis falls to the ground and dies, Daddy reads from the bird book that it is native to Florida and South America. Like Doodle, the ibis has trouble adapting to its environment. When the ibis dies, Aunt Nicey notes that dead birds are bad luck, "'specially red dead birds." The dead bird died because it was out of its element: like Doodle. The image of the ibis is a parallel for Doodle. 

Note the repetition of the color red (red, scarlet, and vermilion) which connects the images of the ibis, the "bleeding" tree, and death (the ibis's and Doodle's). Brother finds Doodle dead: 

He had been bleeding from the mouth, and his neck and the front of his shirt were stained a brilliant red. 

He sat very awkwardly, with his head thrown far back, making his vermilion neck appear unusually long and slim. His little legs, bent sharply at the knees, had never before seemed so fragile, so thin. I began to weep, and the tear-blurred vision in red before me looked very familiar. 

The vision of red looked familiar: similar to the scarlet ibis, the image of red. 

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