The Scarlet Ibis by James Hurst

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Transcript The Scarlet Ibis by James Hurst

The Scarlet Ibis by James Hurst
Class notes
Review of key concepts
What is meant by a symbol?
• The practice or art of using an object or a word
to represent an abstract idea.
• An action, person, place, word, or object can all
have a symbolic meaning.
• When an author wants to suggest a certain
mood or emotion, he can also use symbolism to
hint at it, rather than just blatantly saying it.
• Did you like the story?
• What was your favourite part of the story and
• What didn’t you like about the story?
Metaphors As Symbolism
• A metaphor is a figure of speech that uses
• It compares two things that are not similar
and shows that they actually do have
something in common.
• In a metaphor, there is an additional meaning
to a word. This makes it an example of
• Life is a roller-coaster:
This is symbolic because it indicates that there
will be ups and downs in life that you have to
deal with.
• He is a rock:
This is symbolic because it signifies that he is
strong and dependable.
• What is a simile?
It makes a comparison between two otherwise
unalike objects or ideas by connecting them with
the words "like" or "as."
but the oriole nest in the elm was untenanted
and rocked back and forth like an empty cradle.
What images do you think the author is trying to
• What do you think the author meant by the following?
• They named him William Armstrong, which was like
tying a big tail on a small kite.
The simile suggests that the narrator thinks the name
“William Armstrong” is too weighty and importantsounding for a child as physically weak as his brother.
• He might not, she sobbed, even be “all there.”
• Why is it so important to the narrator that his brother
is “all there” (lines 54-55)?
• Trembling, he’d push himself up, turning first
red, then a soft purple, and finally collapse
back onto the bed like an old worn out doll.
• What does the description in lines 59-61 tell
you about Doodle?
• When he crawled, he crawled backward, as if
he were in reverse and couldn’t change gears.
This is where there is a clue or indication of a
future event that will happen in the story.
• Pause at line 144. Why do you think the
narrator shows Doodle the coffin? What might
this event foreshadow?
• it was spring and the sick-sweet smell of bay
flowers hung everywhere like a mournful
• He collapsed onto the grass like a half-empty
flour sack. It was as if he had no bones in his
little legs.
• Promise hung about us like leaves,
• Re-read lines 346-351. In what ways does the
bird remind you of Doodle?
• Read the last few paragraphs again and continue
the story....
I began to weep, and the tear-blurred vision in
red before me looked very familiar. “Doodle!” I
screamed above the pounding storm, and threw
my body to the earth above his. For a long,
long time, it seemed forever, I lay there crying,
sheltering my fallen scarlet ibis from the heresy of