The Scarlet Ibis by James Hurst

The Scarlet Ibis book cover
Start Your Free Trial

What are the similarities between the bird and Doodle in "The Scarlet Ibis"?

Expert Answers info

mwestwood eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2006

write16,149 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

In James Hurst's poignant story of two brothers who compete against time, there are similarities between Doodle and the scarlet ibis.

The brother is six years old when Doodle is born in a caul, an amniotic membrane that encloses his tiny body. It is a membrane not unlike the transparent protein membranes of a bird's egg from which the ibis emerges. Later in the narrative, when the scarlet ibis lands in the bleeding tree, he perches in a precarious position, trying to flutter his wings in an uncoordinated manner. Suddenly, he becomes unable to hold himself up, and the bird falls to the ground....

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 377 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

brendawm eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2006

write322 answers

starTop subject is Literature

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

gbeatty eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2007

write2,654 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Science






Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial


kandi125 | Student

The similarities between the bird and Doodle in "The Scarlet Ibis":

1. They are out of place. Both of them find themselves in environments which they are not adapted to live in. The bird is lost; Doodle's backyard is not the bird's typical habitat. Doodle, however, does not seem to belong in the world around him because he is mentally and physically impaired.

2. They are small. The bird and Doodle are fragile and small in size.

"His little legs, bent sharply at the knees, had never before seemed so fragile, so thin.” -- sited form weebly's quotes

3. They had trouble with movement. The bird had problems with flying while Doodle had trouble with walking.

4. They die on the same day and died in a similar manner. Both died in the wild under a tree. Doodle looked crippled similar to the bird in death, his neck was twisted and he bleed from the mouth. 

5. They shared the colour red. The bird's feathers were scarlet red and Doodle body was described by Hurst as red, meaning covered in blood.

“He had been bleeding from the mouth, and his neck and the front of his shirt were stained a brilliant red." -- sited form weebly's quotes