Set in the lush beauty of rural North Carolina, not far from the ocean, "The Scarlet Ibis" gives us a glimpse of natural paradise. Brother, the narrator, moves us through the seasons with grace and an eye for beauty. His descriptions of flowers, plants, birds and the weather provide relief from the tragic themes. Brother also shows us hurricanes and storms, seamlessly weaving these elements in with the actions of the plot. Since Brother see little separation between his the word of humans and the world of nature, the natural world becomes almost a character – one of the most complex and multifaceted ever. Although nature is shown as a destructive force, it's also shown as a healing force that can provide comfort for a suffering person.
Brother's love for the natural world helps him deal with Doodle's death.
By opening the story with an image of decaying flower petals, Brother sets a tone of tragedy that's woven through out even the happiest passages.