The Scarlet Ibis Argumentative

About this sample

About this sample


Words: 600 |

Page: 1|

3 min read

Published: Mar 19, 2024

Words: 600|Page: 1|3 min read

Published: Mar 19, 2024

Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. The Destructive Power of Pride
  3. The Consequences of Excessive Ambition
  4. The Impact on Interpersonal Relationships
  5. Conclusion


Literature has long been a medium through which authors explore complex human emotions and experiences. In "The Scarlet Ibis," a short story by James Hurst, the themes of pride, ego, and the consequences of excessive ambition are powerfully depicted. Through the story of two brothers, the narrator and his disabled younger sibling, Doodle, Hurst delves into the destructive nature of pride and the potential consequences it can have on relationships. This essay will argue that "The Scarlet Ibis" serves as a cautionary tale, warning readers about the dangers of pride and its impact on both individuals and their interpersonal connections.

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The Destructive Power of Pride

In "The Scarlet Ibis," pride manifests itself primarily through the narrator's actions and attitudes towards his younger brother. From the outset, the narrator's pride is evident in his determination to teach Doodle to walk. Despite Doodle's physical limitations, the narrator is motivated by his own ego and desire for a "normal" brother. This pride blinds the narrator to Doodle's true capabilities and forces him to impose unrealistic expectations on his younger sibling.

As the story progresses, the narrator's pride becomes increasingly destructive. He pushes Doodle to his physical limits, subjecting him to strenuous exercises and tasks that are beyond his ability. The narrator's pride blinds him to Doodle's pain and suffering, as he becomes solely focused on achieving his own goals. Hurst's portrayal of the narrator's pride serves as a cautionary tale, highlighting the potential consequences of unchecked ambition and ego.

The Consequences of Excessive Ambition

"The Scarlet Ibis" vividly illustrates the devastating consequences of the narrator's excessive ambition. By pushing Doodle beyond his limits, the narrator inadvertently causes his brother's death. The physical strain and emotional burden placed on Doodle ultimately prove too much for his fragile body. This tragic outcome serves as a reminder that unchecked ambition can have dire consequences, not only for oneself but also for those around them.

Hurst's portrayal of the consequences of excessive ambition is a powerful critique of a society that often values success and achievement above all else. The narrator's relentless pursuit of a "normal" brother reflects the pressures and expectations placed on individuals to conform to societal norms. This pressure can lead to the neglect of personal relationships and the sacrifice of one's own well-being, as illustrated by Doodle's untimely demise.

The Impact on Interpersonal Relationships

In addition to exploring the destructive nature of pride and ambition, "The Scarlet Ibis" also delves into the impact of these traits on interpersonal relationships. The narrator's pride and ego blind him to the love and support that Doodle offers him. Instead of cherishing their unique bond, the narrator sees Doodle as a burden and a source of embarrassment.

Hurst's portrayal of the narrator's strained relationship with Doodle serves as a cautionary tale about the importance of empathy and compassion in maintaining healthy relationships. The narrator's inability to see beyond his own desires and ambitions ultimately leads to the loss of a deep and meaningful connection with his brother. This loss serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of valuing and nurturing relationships over personal pride.

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"The Scarlet Ibis" serves as a cautionary tale, warning readers about the destructive nature of pride and its potential consequences. Through the story of the narrator and Doodle, Hurst explores the themes of pride, ambition, and their impact on individuals and their relationships. The story serves as a reminder of the importance of empathy, compassion, and self-awareness in navigating the complexities of human connections. By highlighting the dangers of unchecked ambition and ego, Hurst offers readers a valuable lesson on the potential consequences of prioritizing personal pride over the well-being of others.

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This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

Cite this Essay

The Scarlet Ibis Argumentative. (2024, March 19). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 20, 2024, from
“The Scarlet Ibis Argumentative.” GradesFixer, 19 Mar. 2024,
The Scarlet Ibis Argumentative. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 20 Jul. 2024].
The Scarlet Ibis Argumentative [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2024 Mar 19 [cited 2024 Jul 20]. Available from:
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