© 2015 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.


Essay Lab | Math Shack | Videos

The Scarlet Ibis

The Scarlet Ibis


James Hurst


Essay Lab | Math Shack | Videos

The Scarlet Ibis Analysis

Literary Devices in The Scarlet Ibis

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

If you're looking for information about how the scarlet ibis, the bird, works symbolically, check out "What's Up With the Title?" where we discuss the ibis in detail.Quick, what's the first thing t...


The temporal setting, or where the story is set in time, isn't hard to figure out. We know that Doodle dies in 1918, shortly before his seventh birthday (4.3). If we subtract seven from 1918, we ge...

Narrator Point of View

Stories told in the first person are easy to identify. The narrator will call him/herself "I" or "me." In "The Scarlet Ibis" the first-person narrator is known only as Brother. Brother is what his...


Stories with young protagonists are often set against the backdrop of family life and often fall into the coming-of-age genre. Like here, the young protagonist will go through something big that ch...


When we talk about tone, we're talking about the way the story feels when we read it. We're also talking about the tone of the author's voice when he or she is telling the story. The tone refers to...

Writing Style

When we talk about writing style we're talking about the way the author uses grammar, punctuation, literary devices (like flashbacks and symbols for example), and even spelling to create effects. S...

What's Up With the Title?

The title, The Scarlet Ibis, is rather mysterious. It doesn't prepare us for what the story will be about. If we know that a scarlet ibis is a bird, we might have a picture of that in our heads. In...

What's Up With the Ending?

There's no getting around it. The ending of "The Scarlet Ibis" is tragic. It ends with thirteen-year-old Brother "crying" and "sheltering" Doodle's dead body "from the heresy of rain" (4.51).We com...

Plot Analysis

"Everybody thought he was going to die […]" (3.3).The story opens with Brother remembering the scarlet ibis in the "bleeding tree" (1). This frames the story as a memory. We know that the eve...

Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis

Brother decides to teach Doodle to walk.Brother's anticipation stage begins when Doodle is born. Doodle doesn't quite meet Brother's expectations of what a brother should be like. He wants somebody...

Three Act Plot Analysis

Act I of Brother's memory, the story of his time with Doodle, opens when Doodle is born. It covers the time leading up to Doodle's birthday walk, and includes the time after, when Doodle and Brothe...


The scarlet ibis is one of the national birds of Trinidad and Tobago, a country in the West Indies on the Caribbean Sea. (Source)Scarlet ibises are born brown. Their feathers turn red because of re...

Steaminess Rating

"The Scarlet Ibis" contains a couple of deaths, lots of sadness, oodles of guilt, a few good times, some peach cobbler, and nothing steamy to speak of.


President Woodrow Wilson (1.3) Dix Hill, or Dorothea Dix Hospital (3.20)Chateau Thierry (4.4)Belleau Wood (4.4)Amiens (4.4)Soissins (4.4)"Shall we Gather at the River" (4.38)

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...

Noodle's College Search
Noodle's College Search