Themes And Symbolism In The Scarlet Ibis By James Hurst

986 Words 4 Pages
In The Scarlet Ibis, symbolism is used as a main story telling element. It expresses the character, Brother’s, feelings toward all that happens, and shows his connections to events taking place in the story. In the story, the character called Brother learns to deal with his feelings of hate, embarrassment, and hope for his little brother, who he calls Doodle. He also has to encourage and push Doodle to become normal and fit into society. Brother at the end has to cope with the events of his brother’s death and his inability to succeed on making him normal. In “The Scarlet Ibis”, James Hurst uses the color red, the barn loft and the grindstone as symbols to offer greater insight into abstract ideas that are difficult to understand on their …show more content…
A grindstone in tradition is a tool used to sharpen tools, usually on a farm. The phrase “putting your nose to the grindstone” means to focus and make a new sharp product. The grindstone is mentioned in the beginning of the story and only in the beginning, but is very important to the story. Brother, who is the narrator of the story who is remarking about these events in his adulthood, says “ A grindstone stands where the bleeding tree stood, just outside the kitchen door.” The bleeding tree is where the Ibis was found in the story, but what happened to it? Later in the beginning Brother remarks “But sometimes (like right now), as I sit in the cool, green-draped parlor, the grindstone begins to turn, and time with all its changes is ground away – and I remember Doodle.” This shows us how the grindstone isn’t a physical item, just a way Brother is reminded of Doodle. This suggests that Brother thinks of his mind and him remembering Doodle as a grindstone for his mind. He sees it as everytime he recaps Doodle’s life, he sharpens his mind and his memory. In his mind everything is carefully organized to certain memories. He remembers exactly what happened on the days he narrates about, he remember the weather, sky, and time. Brother is narrating these memories to sharpen his memory, even though it is painful to him to remember his brother death, it is healthy to …show more content…
The color red helped us understand Brother’s mind in all the conflict of the story and how he related it. The barn loft helped us understand how Brother let go his hatred and embarrassment for his brother, to move on to loving and caring for him. The grindstone helped us both understand the narrator, Brother’s, point of view, and how his mind functions after his Brother’s death. Authors use these kind of symbols to unveil the inner mind's of characters and narrators of the story. They help us understand the connections between events and clarify the message of the

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