How is symbolism employed in "The Scarlet Ibis" by James Hurst?


In "The Scarlet Ibis," the ibis itself and the color red are the main symbols within the short story. The ibis represents the narrator's special needs brother, and the color red symbolizes death.

In this short story, a scarlet ibis lands in the narrator's yard while the family is enjoying a meal; its call is heard from the table and draws everyone outside. They find the exotic red bird, pushed off course by a storm, perched in the bleeding tree before it eventually falls from a branch, lands in the dirt and dies.

The only member of the family who takes much notice of the ibis is the narrator's special needs brother, Doodle. Doodle buries the bird in the yard, thus cementing his connection with the ibis.

An ibis is a medium-sized bird with thin, short legs and a long delicate neck, much like Doodle's fragile human frame.

At the story's conclusion, just like the ibis, Doodle gets lost in a rainstorm, falls down and dies from panic and supposed overexertion. Blood is running from Doodle's mouth when the narrator finds his brother’s body. The narrator immediately thinks back to the pile of red that was the ibis after it fell from the bleeding tree and died.

Q&A Related to "How is symbolism employed in "The Scarlet Ibis..."
The scarlet Ibis was a rare bird that shows up one day in the family's backyard in a tree. This bird normally lives in South America so it must have flied for a long time to end up
The main symbol of it, the scarlet ibis, represents Doodle.
OMG I had to read that book for English! boring story, oh well. The scarlet ibis resembles Doodle because the ibis was weak, just like Doodle. Also nobody really believes that the
The scarlet ibis represents in more ways than one. The scarlet ibis is small and fragile like Doodle, but more importantly the scarlet ibis is out of place in their yard. The scarlet
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The Scarlet Ibis is a story written by James Hurst which won the Atlantic First award in 1960. The plot summary is Doodle and his brother go to bury a Scarlet ...
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