Scarlet Ibis

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorJunior High, 9th grade August 2001

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"The Scarlet Ibis", written by James Hurst, reveals many important truths of reality. The truths that are expressed in the short story unite with the events that happen in the world. Although the theme is connected to the short story, it is also associated with the incidents that are taking place today. An important theme that is illustrated by the author is that one choice can affect many people's lives.

A demonstration of this theme would be when Doodle's brother teaches Doodle to walk. Although the brother taught him to walk because he was ashamed of having a crippled brother, Doodle's parents and his aunt were overwhelming with joy when Doodle and his brother revealed it to them. Doodle was pleased with his brother because Doodle thought he would never be able to walk. Doodle never really believed that he could do it, but through hard work, the brother taught Doodle to walk.

The brother's life was changed when Doodle learned to walk. The brother gained more pride after he trained Doodle to walk; moreover, he thought he could have a normal brother who he could race and wrestle with. The parents were extremely happy because the doctor said that Doodle could not walk, yet Doodle learned to walk with help from the brother.

Another manifestation of this theme occurs when the brother, out of overbearing pride, runs away from Doodle in a final attempt to teach Doodle how to run. The brother runs away because he is mortified that his brother could not do normal things that kids of his age find it easy to do. The brother thought leaving Doodle behind would make him run to catch up. Realizing the futility of his efforts, he waited for Doodle to catch up. The brother went back to find Doodle trying to draw alongside him, but the only thing he saw was a lifeless body with blood around the body. He knew it was Doodle and covered his body with his own to shield Doodle from the rain. He shed tears because he loved Doodle very much and never got a chance to show it. Doodle's parents and his aunt sobbed over the loss of Doodle. The all loved him very much, but the brother was weeping because his choice to run away from Doodle was the demise of his only brother.

An illustration of this theme that was a real life situation was the Columbine High shooting. Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold decided to launch a military like attack inside Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. Before taking their own lives, they killed thirteen people and injured more than twenty. It was the worst incident of school gun violence in United States history. This news story riveted the world's attention; moreover, many were deeply affected by this shooting. The parents of the dead children were miserable when they had found out what had happened. The victims' friends were horrified of going to the school again because Eric and Dylan caused much fear. Many people sobbed over the shooting, even though they were not related to any of the victims. Eric and Dylan's choice to go murder some of the students affected much of the United States.

One choice affects many people's lives is an important universal truth. Many people will be affected by a decision one makes; moreover, this theme is evident in the short story and throughout life. Many truths are exposed in books, such as this one in the "Scarlet Ibis." The themes that the book exposes connect with both the book and the events that happen in the world.