Memories Includance in James Hurst’s “The Scarlet Ibis”

Updated February 18, 2022

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Memories Includance in James Hurst’s “The Scarlet Ibis” essay

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How often do you take your memory for granted? Probably too much now that you think about it. People don’t value memory as much as maybe it should be valued, and that’s why James Hurst wrote a short, fictional story that is a memory of the protagonist. Memory helps shape who we are as shown in “The Scarlet Ibis”. Memory can influence and change our emotions at different times, we can learn from our memory and improve our future decisions, and your memories also shape how you see other people. This is all proved in “The Scarlet Ibi” many different ways.

The protagonist who is referred to as “Brother”, and is also the narrator feels many emotions based on memories he thinks of during James Hurst’s short story. Brother cries when doodle first walks in front of the rest of the family because he remembers the real reason he taught Doodle to walk, pride. He didn’t want the shame of having a brother who was almost five years old and not even being able to walk. Everyone would make fun of both of them in public places such as school. So, because Brother had remembered the reason he taught Doodle how to walk, his emotions changed from what should have been happy and excitement to sad and sorry. Brother also cried when he found Doodle, dead, under the tree on that rainy night. As anyone would cry if their brother died, Brother always wanted a brother that which he could do things with. Because Brother pushed Doodle passed his limit and ignored the fact that Doodle’s body could not handle everything a normal body could, Brother indefinitely killed his own sibling. This gave him unimaginable guilt that he will have to live with for the rest of his life. “For a long time, it seemed forever, I lay there crying…”.(pg 183) Brother had realized it was his fault that he won’t ever be able to play with Doodle again, teach him how to do anything, and build necklaces out of flowers and grasses again. He can only now remember the joyful times they spent together. Brother’s memories of Doodle have the chance to make him feel sad and regretful of his decisions or happy and proud of what all he did with his brother.

Anyone can learn from their memory and Brother has shown that in James Hurst’s short story. It is easy to believe that Brother has learned from his mistakes to not push things too far beyond its limit. If someone is struggling with something than it probably means they do not know how to do it correctly and should learn it step by step, slowly, instead of doing everything they can all at once. Brother has probably also learned to appreciate things for how they are and not what they could be. The Narrator also was embarrassed Doodle since he could not walk at the age of five. He didn’t want the shame of having a brother who couldn’t transport himself on his own two legs. The Narrator set out to teach Doodle how to walk and pushed him very hard to learn. Whenever doodle got discouraged, Brother would draw a picture of both of them old with white beards and himself still pulling Doodle around on his little go-cart and that would make Doodle want to try again. Both Brother and Doodle wanted to change the memories of getting dragged around to walking around together and possibly running. Brother’s initial and biggest influential reason for teaching Doodle how to walk was because he didn’t want the shame of a five year old brother who couldn’t walk. He also wanted the pride of teaching someone how to walk. Based on this, we can rely on memories to help teach us valuable lessons and not make the same mistakes we have in the past.

The last importance of memory shown in “The Scarlet Ibis” is how your memories can shape how you see others. Brother pushes Doodle to get stronger because he remembers the weak and unable Doodle in the bed right after he was born. He feels that he needs to push Doodle to get stronger and catch up to the other kids when he goes to school when the other kids can do everything that Doodle may not be able to do. “Do you want to be different from everybody else when you start school?” Brother also wants Doodle to fit in with the other kids so he isn’t bullied or thought smaller of by the other kids. Brother and Doodle see a Scarlet Ibis early in the story, which foreshadows Doodle’s death at the end of the story. Brother sees Doodle as his own Scarlet Ibis when he is lying, dead, under the tree in that rainy night. These ways shown in “The Scarlet Ibis” is evidence that memory shapes how you see other people around you.

All these points prove how memory helps shape who you are. Memory can influence our emotions, We can learn from our memories at times, and your memories shape how you see other people. Do you think these memory traits would be as important if you were in the narrator’s shoes?

Memories Includance in James Hurst’s “The Scarlet Ibis” essay

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Memories Includance in James Hurst’s “The Scarlet Ibis”. (2020, Sep 19). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/memories-includance-in-james-hursts-the-scarlet-ibis/


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