"The Scarlet Ibis": Types of Conflict

"The Scarlet Ibis": Types of Conflict
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  • "The Scarlet Ibis": Types of Conflict
  • "I'm not going to hurt you. I'm going to teach you to walk."
  • Man vs. Man
  • “And before I’ll help you down from the loft, you’re going to have to touch it [the coffin that Doodle was meant to be buried in as a baby].”
  • Cruelty
  • Man vs. Self
  • "I did not know then that pride is a wonderful, terrible thing, a seed that bears two vines, life and death."
  • Row!
  • Pride
  •  "The Scarlet Ibis" by James Hurst is a short story about a boy named William Armstrong, nicknamed Doodle, and his older brother, the narrator of the story. The tale is about the narrator's interactions with his younger brother, which involve three types of conflict. 
  • Man vs. Self
  • Nature - Lack of Empathy - Pride - Disappointment - Change/Growth - Hope - Know Your Limits - Mistreatment of Loved Ones - Death - Guilt
  • "Doodle was both tired and frightened, and when he stepped from the skiff he collapsed onto the mud, sending an armada of fiddler crabs rustling off into the marsh grass."
  • Inferiortiy
  • Doodle’s older brother saw Doodle, who had a heart condition, as an embarrassment, for he wanted a brother who he could race against and box with. He was sometimes cruel towards Doodle because of his disappointment of having a disabled brother.
  • Man vs. Man
  • "Brother, Brother, don't leave me! Don't leave me!"
  • Anger
  • Doodle's brother grappled with himself over how he treated Doodle and let his pride push his brother to death. He taught Doodle to walk, run, swim. and row because he was ashamed to have an invalid brother who could not do those things. 
  • Man vs. Nature
  • Overexertion
  • Doodle had difficulty with his desire to get approval from his older brother, who wanted him to be athletic, and to be like other kids his age (his heart condition gave him many physical limitations). As a result, he pushed his body to its breaking point. 
  • Times between Doodle and his older brother consisted of Doodle's brother pushing him to overcome his afflictions. This led to moments of iniquity on the part of the older brother, who became annoyed that Doodle was not as robust as he wanted him to be. 
  • "For a long time, it seemed forever, I lay there crying, sheltering my fallen scarlet ibis from the heresy of rain."
  • Doodle and his brother were caught in a storm at the end of the story. His fear of the storm (when he was rowing a boat with his brother, he rowed faster to escape the black clouds), and of being left behind by his brother, who was running away, caused him to overexert himself and die. 
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