Symbolism in The Scarlet Ibis by James Hurst

November 3, 2020 by Essay Writer

The Scarlet Ibis: Written Response

In the story “The Scarlet Ibis” by James Hurst uses symbolism to tell his story and gives it a deeper meaning. James Hurst uses the Roman Candle and the weather to emphasize and illustrate how the characters feel in the story.

The first symbol is the roman candle and it symbolizes how the characters feel frightened and it was also a foreshadowing of Doodle’s death. For example, the tree if front of them shattered “…by a bolt of lightning.” (pg. 3) This basically means that the character probably feels a sudden rust of emotions. Doodle, obviously, would feel frightened because the lightning ripped up a whole tree in front of him and he is scared of being hurt. But for Doodle’s brother, the narrator, he felt a sense of cruelty towards his brother and he suddenly thought about leaving Doodle behind, which he did. And from seeing the lightning rip the tree apart, it gives the readers a clue about how Doodle may have died later on.

The second symbol is the weather which represents how the situations situations are good or bad. To show, when they were walking home together and the “…deafening thunder haddled…” and the narrator left Doodle behind. This event and symbol correlate to how bad and good the situation was. The relationship of the brothers were breaking and they were fighting, the weather happened to go bad because it helped display the tone of the story at the moment. Or also, when the narrator successfully taught Doodle how to stand, the sun was shining and it was a beautiful day. The weather can display how the characters feel, like happy or sad, or it can display the tone of the story and how the author feels.

James Hurst, from using symbolism, enriches his writing and helps the readers understand the deeper meaning in his stories and gives them a chance to really emerge themself in it. In this case, these symbols help the readers get an insight of how the character may possibly feel.

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