In "The Scarlet Ibis," what is the theme of most of the lies and what does it tell you about Doodle?

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are several themes that evolve during this outstanding short story, but I'm not sure that Doodle's lies pertain to any one particular theme. The theme of brotherhood is an obvious one, and one of his lies deals with the family living together in the swamp. Doodle's brother is also torn between the emotions of love and pride, while another theme is that of the difference found in some people. However, most of Doodle's tall tales seem to stem from his wild imagination and his love of the outdoors. His tail of the peacock that spreads his wings to engulf the boy

like a closing go-to-sleep flower, burying him in the glorious iridescent, rustling vortex...

foreshadows the ibis which appears before the family. Doodle's other lies, about living together in the swamp and marrying his mama, shows that the little boy desperately wants to cling to his family as long as he can.