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“The Scarlet Ibis”. By James Hurst. Setting. Time: 1912-1918—World War I; summer. Place: North Carolina; cotton farm; Old Woman Swamp . Point of View. “The Scarlet Ibis” is told through first person point of view. The narrator is Doodle’s older brother.

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Presentation Transcript
setting
Setting

Time: 1912-1918—World War I; summer

Place: North Carolina; cotton farm; Old Woman Swamp.

point of view
Point of View
  • “The Scarlet Ibis” is told through first person point of view.
  • The narrator is Doodle’s older brother.
  • The narrator tells the story using flashback.
    • Flashback: the author or narrator depicts events which have taken place before the present time.
conflict
Conflict

Man vs. Man: the struggle exists between the narrator and Doodle.

James Hurst uses the war raging among “brothers” in Europe to demonstrate the conflict between the narrator and Doodle.

allusions
Allusions
  • There are three allusions in “The Scarlet Ibis.”
    • Battle sites of WWI: Chateau-Thierry, Soissons, and Belleau Wood
    • The story of Hansel and Gretel: “It was too late to turn back, for we had both wandered too far into a net of expectations and had left no crumbs behind.”
    • Biblical Resurrection: “If we produced anything less than the Resurrection, [Aunt Nicey] was going to be disappointed.”
foreshadowing
Foreshadowing
  • Summer of 1918 was devastating: plant growth was replaced by death and decay.
    • Clue that Doodle’s growth will be replaced by death and decay.
  • The fall of the Ibis.
    • Clue that Doodle will fall later in the story.
    • Dead birds are “bad luck.”
imagery
Imagery
  • Death imagery appears throughout “The Scarlet Ibis.”
  • Examples:
    • Bleeding tree
    • Rotting brown magnolia
    • Ironweeds grew rank
    • Graveyard flowers
    • Mahogany box
    • Black clouds, darkness descended
similes
Similes
  • Simile: a comparison of two unlike things that uses the word “like” or “as”
  • Examples:
    • “William Armstrong’s name is like putting a big tail on a small kite.”
    • “Promise hung about us like leaves.”
    • “Hope no longer hid in the dark palmetto thicket, but perched like a cardinal in the lacy toothbrush tree, brilliantly visible.”
metaphors
Metaphors
  • Metaphor: a comparison of two unlike things without using the words “like” or “as”
  • Examples:
    • “There is within me (and with sadness I have watched it in others) a knot of cruelty borne by the stream of love, much as our blood sometimes bears the seed of our destruction.”
    • “Pride is a wonderful, terrible thing, a seed that bears two vines, life and death.”
symbols
Symbols
  • Symbol: a person, place, or thing used to represent something else.
  • The main symbol in the story is the scarlet ibis which represents Doodle.
theme
Theme
  • One of the possible themes of “The Scarlet Ibis” is pride is destructive.
  • Lines like the following support this theme:
    • “All of us must have something to be proud of.”
    • “Pride is a wonderful, terrible thing, a seed that bears two vines, life and death.”