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The Scarlet Ibis

The Scarlet Ibis

by James Hurst

Man and the Natural World Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

[…] so I dragged him across the burning cotton field to share with him the only beauty I knew, Old Woman Swamp. (2.4)

What a gorgeous line. It tells us a lot about who Brother is. This factors into the theme of love as well. Because Doodle appreciates the beauty of the swamp as much as Brother does, they are able to connect meaningfully. They have a lot in common.

Quote #2

"Yes, yes" I cried, and he cried it to, and the grass beneath us was soft and the smell of the swamp was sweet. (3.14)

This passage engages our sense to help us see the beauty Brother sees. We can almost feel, see, and smell the scene. The word "sweet" gives things a gentle tone. In moments like this, it's hard to believe that Brother is the mean, selfish guy he claims to be.

Quote #3

We decided that when we were grown we would live in Old Woman Swamp and pick dog-tongue for a living. (3.22)

If that isn't a commitment to nature, we don't know what is. This is another moment where Brother and Doodle express a desire not to get involved in the outside world. It's only when Brother learns that Doodle will have to leave paradise, for, the harsh world of school that things start to go wrong.

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