3 The Scarlet Ibis Introducing the Story I thought myself pretty smart at many things . . .
4 The Scarlet Ibis Introducing the Story In “The Scarlet Ibis” the narrator tells of his experience growing up with his physically disabled brother, Doodle, on a farm in the South.The narrator develops a bond with his younger brother and teaches him to walk. But he learns a tragic lesson when he pushes Doodle too hard.I did not know then that pride is a wonderful, terrible thing, a seed that bears two vines, life and death.—from “The Scarlet Ibis” by James Hurst[End of Section]
5 The Scarlet Ibis Literary Focus: Symbols A symbol is an object, event, person, or animal that stands for something more than itself.Symbols are all around you in your everyday life. Their special meanings have been handed down over time.
6 The Scarlet Ibis Literary Focus: Symbols In literature, symbols add deeper levels of meaning to a work.A writer might take a regular object or event and make it stand for some human concern.Sometimes a symbol is associated with a particular character.Symbols speak to the reader’s emotions and imagination. They make stories memorable.
7 The Scarlet Ibis Literary Focus: Symbols In “The Scarlet Ibis,” you’ll notice similarities and links between one character and a bird.Pay attention to how the author makes a symbolic connection between the character and the bird.This symbolism can help deepen your understanding of the character.[End of Section]
8 The Scarlet Ibis Reading Skills: Making Inferences from Details As you read a story, you make inferences, or educated guesses, about what the writer is trying to say.You can base your inferences on your own prior knowledge and on evidence from the text.Prior Knowledgeabout how stories workabout your own life experiencesEvidence from TextdescriptionssettingdialogueInference+=
9 The Scarlet Ibis Reading Skills: Making Inferences from Details One way to make better inferences is to notice important details in the story.Details may seem insignificant at first, but most writers choose details carefully to help convey a certain meaning or message.Colors, seasons, names, times, objects, animals, and clothing—almost any little thing can help you make inferences about meaning.
10 The Scarlet Ibis Reading Skills: Making Inferences from Details Pay attention to details as you read “The Scarlet Ibis,” and practice making inferences. Keep track of the little things:treescolorsflowersanimalsgesturesweatherWhat larger meanings can you infer from these details?[End of Section]
11 The Scarlet Ibis Background The story is set in the American South. Its climax takes place in 1918, the year World War I ended. You’ll find references in the story to battles being fought far away from its peaceful southern setting. As you read, think about why the author chose this setting.The physical setting— American South in 1918The historical setting— end of World War I[End of Section]
13 The Scarlet Ibis Quickwrite Make the ConnectionMake a list of situations that might make someone feel proud. Is pride positive or negative—can it be both? Jot down your thoughts about what it means to be proud.[End of Section]
15 The Scarlet Ibis Vocabulary Previewing the Vocabularysullenly adv.: resentfully; gloomily.imminent adj.: near; about to happen.iridescent adj.: rainbowlike; displaying a shifting range of colors.serene adj.: peaceful; calm.infallibility n.: inability to make a mistake.
16 The Scarlet Ibis Vocabulary Previewing the Vocabularyblighted v. used as adj.: suffering from conditions that destroy or prevent growth.doggedness n.: stubbornness; persistence.reiterated v.: repeated.precariously adv.: unsteadily; insecurely.mar v.: damage; spoil.
17 The Scarlet Ibis Vocabulary Vocabulary Activity: Sentence CompletionFill in the blanks with the correct Word Bank words.iridescent blighted serene precariously imminent1. The sudden thunder disturbed the ___________ mood.2. The sunlight cast an ___________ glow over the lake.3. A darkening sky warned that a storm was ___________ .4. The crops are ___________ due to the severe drought.5. The trembling bird perched ___________ on a tree limb.imminentd[End of Section]
18 The Scarlet Ibis Vocabulary Vocabulary Activity: Sentence CompletionFill in the blanks with the correct Word Bank words.iridescent blighted serene precariously imminent1. The sudden thunder disturbed the ___________ mood.2. The sunlight cast an ___________ glow over the lake.3. A darkening sky warned that a storm was ___________ .4. The crops are ___________ due to the severe drought.5. The trembling bird perched ___________ on a tree limb.sereneiridescentimminentblightedprecariously[End of Section]
20 The Scarlet Ibis Meet the Writer James Hurst was born on a farm in coastal North Carolina in After studying at North Carolina State College, he served in the army during World War II.Hurst wants readers of “The Scarlet Ibis” to think of how the war raging among “brothers” in Europe is related to the conflict between Doodle and his brother. Perhaps, he reflects, people always suffer when others try to make them over in their own image.More About the Writer[End of Section]
21 Short essayHow does the narrator experience a coming of age as a result of Doodle’s passing? What valuable lesson does he convey to the reader through the flashback.