illustration of a scarlet ibis cradling a boy's body

The Scarlet Ibis

by James Hurst

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Would you describe the two main characters in the story static or dynamic? Why?

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The two main characters in James Hurst's short story "The Scarlet Ibis" can be considered dynamic. Dynamic characters are characters who change throughout a story. This change happens as a result of physical, mental, or both physical and mental changes. A static character does not grow, or change, over the course of a text.

Doodle is a dynamic character based upon the fact that he learns to do many new things because of his brother. His brother pushes him very hard. In the beginning, the change is simplistic--Doodle learns to walk (a change in his physical limitations). By the end, the change is very dramatic--Doodle dies because of how hard his brother pushes him. Therefore, Doodle has changed physically.

Doodle's brother is also a dynamic character. In the beginning, Doodle's brother is frustrated with the fact that Doodle cannot walk. Fueled by this frustration, he beings to push Doodle very hard. In the end, Doodle's brother sees that his pushing of Doodle was selfish given his pushing leads to Doodle's death. The brother has learned a new way to look at life and his own selfishness. Therefore, he has changed internally.

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