In "The Scarlet Ibis," the older brother is filled with pride. He is the narrator known as Brother and is disappointed when Doodle is born:
Doodle is a disappointment to everyone, particularly to Brother, who had wanted a brother who could run, jump, and race with him.
is born with a physical and mental disability. The older brother is ashamed of his brother Doodle. The older brother is determined to teach Doodle to walk and run before Doodle begins school. As he narrates the story, the older brother shares his embarrassment because he has a handicapped brother. His pride keeps him from being proud of his brother Doodle.
While Brother is ashamed of Doodle, ironically, Doodle adores his older brother. He idolizes the Brother. Doodle wants to go everywhere his brother goes. Doodle wants to be just like his older brother. That is one reason Doodle tries so hard when the older brother is teaching him to walk and run. He is trying to please Brother. When the parents learn the Doodle can walk and run, they brag on the older brother who has taught Doodle such a feat. The older brother is embarrassed when his parents brag on him. Because of his pride, the older brother has taught Doodle to walk and run. As the parents embrace Brother with the delight of seeing Doodle walk, Brother begins to cry with nothing to say:
Brother cries with unspoken shame, in the knowledge that his real motive was not love, but pride.
No doubt, Brother has too much pride. He does what he does for Doodle out of obligation and pride. He spends many hours working with Doodle, only because he does not want the school children to make fun of him for having a brother like Doodle who is handicapped. Doodle learns to walk:
This initial success is not, however, enough for Brother, who is determined that Doodle will not shame him by being seen as different when he starts school.
Ultimately, Doodle dies of a heart attack in a thunder storm. Brother runs ahead of Doodle. Leaving him behind, Doodle over strained himself trying to keep up. Brother found out how much he loved Doodle as he laid his body over a fallen dead Doodle. Brother writes about his pride which caused him to leave Doodle behind to die:
"I did not know then that pride is a wonderful, terrible thing, a seed that bears two vines, life and death."