"The Scarlet Ibis" is a grim story, but it comes from a place of love, and kindness. Brother and Doodle, the two brothers who star in this story, have a loving mother, father, and aunt. Their home in North Carolina is a fantasy paradise for kids. Doodle, the younger brother, was born with a heart condition, and has physical limitations, especially when compared with his super-athletic older brother. Since cardiology, the branch of medicine that deals with the heart, was in its infancy in the early 1900s when the story is set, the family isn't quite sure how to deal with this issue, and tragedy ensues as a result. Brother's memory of Doodle is a labor of love he undertakes at the risk of not loving himself enough.
We can tell that Brother and Doodle are loved because they always get enough to eat; the scenes featuring the family eating are crucial in showing that Doodle and Brother live in a loving home.
Te fact that Daddy bought a coffin for his infant baby before the baby was dead causes readers to question Daddy's love for his son.