Doodle's Determination in "The Scarlet Ibis"

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About this sample

About this sample


Words: 792 |

Pages: 2|

4 min read

Published: Jun 14, 2024

Words: 792|Pages: 2|4 min read

Published: Jun 14, 2024

Table of contents

  1. Doodle's Determination to Walk
  2. Doodle's Determination to Learn
  3. Doodle's Determination to Succeed

Have you ever witnessed someone overcoming seemingly insurmountable obstacles with unwavering determination? In the short story "The Scarlet Ibis" by James Hurst, the character of Doodle, a young boy with physical disabilities, displays immense determination throughout the narrative. Despite his limitations, Doodle refuses to succumb to his circumstances, instead pushing himself to excel in various aspects of life. This essay will explore the theme of determination as portrayed through Doodle's character, analyzing the impact of his determination on his personal growth and relationships. By examining the key instances of Doodle's determination, we can understand the power of resilience and its ability to shape one's destiny.

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Doodle's Determination to Walk

The first display of Doodle's determination in the story is his relentless pursuit of walking. Born with physical disabilities, Doodle's family expects him to be confined to a wheelchair for his entire life. However, Doodle refuses to accept this fate. He spends hours each day trying to strengthen his weak legs, pushing himself to take his first steps. The narrator highlights this determination, stating, "He didn't walk until he was five years old, when I was six. But he talked earlier and walked later than most babies" (Hurst). This quote emphasizes Doodle's determination to defy expectations and overcome his physical challenges.

Doodle's determination to walk has significant implications for his personal growth. By refusing to accept his limitations, he gains a sense of independence and self-confidence. Walking becomes a symbol of his ability to overcome obstacles and assert control over his own life. Furthermore, Doodle's determination inspires those around him, particularly his older brother, who serves as the story's narrator. Witnessing Doodle's persistence, the narrator realizes the importance of supporting his brother's aspirations, ultimately becoming a driving force behind Doodle's progress.

Doodle's Determination to Learn

In addition to his determination to walk, Doodle also demonstrates a strong desire to learn. Despite facing challenges due to his physical disabilities, Doodle displays an insatiable curiosity and a thirst for knowledge. He eagerly absorbs information from books and actively engages in the learning process. The narrator remarks, "Doodle always wanted to learn to swim and to run and to climb trees, but these seemed like superhuman tasks" (Hurst). Doodle's determination to learn extends beyond his physical abilities, as he strives to broaden his intellectual horizons.

Doodle's determination to learn showcases his resilience and adaptability. He refuses to let his physical limitations hinder his intellectual growth, constantly seeking opportunities for education. This determination not only enriches Doodle's life but also impacts his relationship with his brother. The narrator recognizes Doodle's thirst for knowledge and takes on the role of a teacher, fostering a bond between the two brothers. Through their shared pursuit of learning, their relationship transcends the traditional sibling dynamic, transforming into a partnership driven by mutual support and growth.

Doodle's Determination to Succeed

Lastly, Doodle exhibits determination in his pursuit of success. Despite the hardships he faces, he remains resilient and perseveres through adversity. Doodle's determination to prove himself becomes evident when he sets a goal to be able to run as fast as his brother. The narrator describes this moment, stating, "He determined to learn to run, to be like everyone else. But by the end of July, our goal seemed as far away as ever" (Hurst). This quote highlights Doodle's unwavering determination, even when faced with setbacks and slow progress.

Doodle's determination to succeed shapes his character and influences his relationships. It instills in him a sense of ambition and fuels his drive to exceed expectations. Furthermore, his determination inspires the narrator to become a better brother, pushing him to support Doodle's dreams and aspirations. The bond between the two brothers strengthens as they work towards their shared goal, fostering a deep connection built on trust and encouragement.


In "The Scarlet Ibis," Doodle's determination serves as a powerful force that drives his personal growth and transforms his relationships. Through his relentless pursuit of walking, learning, and success, Doodle defies societal expectations and overcomes his physical limitations. His determination not only shapes his own destiny but also impacts those around him, inspiring his brother to become a pillar of support. The story of Doodle reminds us of the incredible power of determination and its ability to shape our lives. It serves as a testament to the strength of the human spirit and the potential for growth, even in the face of adversity.

As we reflect on Doodle's story, we are reminded of the importance of determination in our own lives. Like Doodle, we encounter challenges and obstacles that may seem insurmountable. However, by embracing determination and resilience, we too can defy expectations and achieve personal growth. Doodle's story encourages us to embrace our own determination and use it as a driving force to shape our destinies.


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Hurst, James. "The Scarlet Ibis." The Atlantic Monthly, July 1960.

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Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

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Doodle’s Determination in “The Scarlet Ibis”. (2024, Jun 14). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 15, 2024, from
“Doodle’s Determination in “The Scarlet Ibis”.” GradesFixer, 14 Jun. 2024,
Doodle’s Determination in “The Scarlet Ibis”. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 15 Jul. 2024].
Doodle’s Determination in “The Scarlet Ibis” [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2024 Jun 14 [cited 2024 Jul 15]. Available from:
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