In "The Scarlet Ibis", how does Doodle show that he has his own unique personality?

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pmiranda2857 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Doodle's personality emerges through the strength of his determination to live against all odds.  Although Doodle can only crawl backwards, which is how he gets the name Doodle, which is given to him by Brother.  He acquires the ability to walk to please Brother.  His real distinction, his gentle spirit is expressed, especially through his attention to the Scarlet Ibis.

"He is the first to notice the visiting ibis and honors the bird by giving it a careful burial while finding a way of respecting his mother's orders not to touch it. The fact that Doodle is the only member of the family to care for the scarlet ibis enough to bury it shows his compassionate heart and emphasizes a symbolic link between boy and bird."

ms-mcgregor eNotes educator| Certified Educator
Doodle first shows his uniqueness when he refuses to die and survives despite the doctor's pronouncements of his imminent death. He even refuses to acknowledge the coffin that his father built for him. He has an appreciation of Nature that the rest of his family seems to lack. He cries when he sees how beautiful the Old Woman Swamp is. He's the first person to notice the Scarlet Ibis and he is the only one who seems to care that the Ibis gets a decent burial. Finally, he cares deeply for the feelings of others. He wants desperately to fulfill Brother's wishes that he pushes himself so hard that he eventually dies. At the time of his death, Brother seemed only interested in having a "normal" brother, but Doodle proves he is far beyond "normal".
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The Scarlet Ibis

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