How Did Doodle Die In The Scarlet Ibis?


Brother, wanting to train Doodle to be like other normal boys, pushed him very hard. On their way back from training at Horsehead landing, Brother had Doodle practice rowing.

A sudden rainstorm appeared that makes it harder for Doodle to row. On reaching the riverbank, Doodle was very tired and scared. Annoyed and disappointed at his younger brother, Brother leaves him behind.

Brother goes back to check on Doodle only to find a lifeless Doodle lying on the ground with blood flowing out of his mouth.

In which chapter did Doodle die?

Doodle died in the last chapter of the book, The Scarlet Ibis.

Who was Doodle?

Doodle was born sickly and was not expected to live for long going by his birth defects, but he defied all odds and soldiered on. Even though, he was weak and fragile and was incapable of handling many physical jobs, he however trained very hard to try to overcome his shortcomings.

What is The Scarlet Ibis about?

The Scarlet Ibis is about a short story written by James Hurst that won “The Atlantic First” award.

It’s a narration of the life of two brothers, Brother and Doodle. The narrator is known as Brother and is Doodle’s elder brother and the main protagonist.

It’s a story about conflict, mainly portrayed by Doodle trying to live up to Brother’s expectations while internally struggling with his own hope.

Why was Doodle named Doodle?

When Doodle started to crawl, his doctor warned that it might be strenuous and cause harm to his weak heart.

So Doodle started crawling on his back, to which Brother likened to a doodlebug and named him Doodle.

Who was Brother in The Scarlet Ibis?

Brother is the main protagonist and the first voice doing the narration.

He is Doodle’s elder brother, six years his senior. He is unhappy that Doodle was born with defects that made it hard for them to be playmates.

He blames his selfish pride for Doodles death and ends up crying as he hugs Doodle’s lifeless body.

What was Doodle’s earlier name?

Doodle was called William Armstrong when he was born.

Why was renaming Doodle a positive act?

His former name William Armstrong pointed to a very strong and able person.

Considering the weak and feeble state that Doodle was born in, that name didn’t do him justice.

Renaming him Doodle was a kind gesture from Brother as it depicted Doodle in his true nature.

Why did Brother attempt smothering Doodle when he was small?

Brother was disappointed by Doodle being different from the other boys. He wanted to take his life as he deemed him useless.

What was Brother’s relationship like with Doodle?

Brother had always hoped for a brother that he could play with.

He openly resented his brother Doodle for being weak and fragile and dreaded pulling his brother in the go-kart their father had built for Doodle because he couldn’t walk.

Eventually, Brother decided to train Doodle on how to be normal like the rest. Doodle performs very well but fails to complete his training on time.

What was the Scarlet Ibis?

One day, a red sick and tired looking bird appeared in their garden. Their father identified it as a scarlet ibis, a tropical bird that was blown off-course by a recent storm. On its death, Doodle buried it as the family looks on and laughs.

What symbols were used in The Scarlet Ibis?

The Scarlet Ibis is the main symbol, with the Ibis’s red color and weak bird, referencing Doodle as feeble yet beautiful. After Doodle’s death, Brother connects the bird and Doodle. That something beautiful and fragile can be lost so easily.

The color red could also have symbolized the uncertainty of how life will turn out.

Just as the Ibis bore a red color, so was Doodle covered in red blood upon his death.

The rainstorm described Brother as he pushed Doodle to the edge, just as a raging storm did to the tropical bird, scarlet ibis.

Pride was used to show its two pronged nature; for Doodle, his pride helped him train hard and do extraordinarily well while for Brother, his pride ultimately caused Doodle’s untimely death.

The fog symbolized uncertainty and confusion. It struck a Boundary between the real and imaginary world.

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