Pride can produce the most varied effects. It has the potential to do good, but it can also be immensely destructive. In “The Scarlet Ibis”, by James Hurst, the different results of pride are a common theme seen throughout the story. Brother said that “pride is a wonderful, terrible thing, a seed that bears two vines, life and death.” This statement strongly relates to the events that occurred in the story, as pride was responsible for the positive and negative feelings Brother had towards Doodle. Unfortunately, Doodle was no match for his brother’s aggressive and selfish actions. In the end, Brother’s pride is to blame for Doodle’s untimely death.
Brother’s pride was responsible for his opinion of Doodle. At times, Brother was kind and loving to Doodle, but the reader soon realizes that the narrator was mostly harsh and cruel to his brother. In the beginning of the story, Brother recounts the day Doodle was born, saying that he was a disappointment as soon as he entered the world. The narrator was not satisfied with his brother, which resulted in the horrible things he thought about him. Brother said that “It was bad enough having an invalid brother, but having one who possibly was not all there was unbearable…” As a result, the narrator enjoyed torturing Doodle, threatening to abandon him multiple times. He even took Doodle to see the casket that was built for him, and forced him to touch it. The narrator basked in the control he had over his brother.
Because of the embarrassment the narrator felt about his brother, he became determined to make Doodle as normal as possible. Brother teaches Doodle how to walk, a kind act that improved Doodle’s quality of life. However, Brother’s intentions were bad, and he admits his pure selfish objectives when he says "And that Doodle walked only because I was ashamed of having a crippled brother."