Doodle is extremely loyal to his brother and insists on tagging along wherever the narrator goes. Doodle cries when his brother leaves without him and participates in physically taxing exercises to please him. Doodle tells his brother on several occasions "Don't leave me" and ends up dying trying to keep pace with him.
Doodle is imaginative and the narrator mentions that he could tell the best "lies." The narrator recalls Doodle's fantastic stories about a boy named Peter, who had a pet peacock with a ten-foot tail.
Doodle is also sensitive and sympathetic. When a storm drives a scarlet ibis from its natural habitat and it dies in the narrator's backyard, Doodle buries the exotic bird while singing the hymn "Shall We Gather at the River."
The narrator is a prideful individual who does not want to have a disabled brother. In an attempt to make Doodle "normal," the narrator forces his brother to participate in a difficult exercise regimen so that he will be like the rest of his peers at school. The narrator even admits that his personal pride motivated him to teach Doodle how to walk.
The narrator is insensitive and callous at times towards his younger brother. The narrator flips Doodle from his wagon in an attempt to discourage him from tagging along and also forces Doodle to touch his mahogany casket in the attic. He also pushes Doodle past his physical limitations, which ends up killing him.
The narrator is also ambitious. The narrator's ambition is revealed in his plan and dedication to helping Doodle walk. Initially, everyone believes that Doodle is incapable of walking on his own. However, the ambitious narrator comes up with a strict regimen, where he helps Doodle practice how to walk while they are spending time at Old Woman Swamp. Hurst writes,
It seemed so hopeless from the beginning that it's a miracle I didn't give up. But all of us must have something or someone to be proud of, and Doodle had become mine.