The Scarlet Ibis

Doodle’s parents Character Analysis

Also referred to as Mama and Daddy, Doodle and Brother’s parents care for their sons and work to make Doodle feel loved, but they also seem disappointed that Doodle will not be able to have the experiences of a normal boy. Like Doodle’s doctor, they initially expect Doodle’s life to be very short, and have a coffin built for their son. Doodle’s mother cries when she explains to Brother that Doodle will not be able to participate in many of the same activities that other boys engage in, but later Doodle’s father builds a go-cart for Doodle so that he can go outside with his brother. Doodle’s parents become very excited when Doodle begins to walk, highlighting their desire for him to live a more normal life. Although they only want the best for their son, their desire for him to be more like his brother only adds to the pressure that causes Doodle to push himself so hard, and eventually leads to his death.

Doodle’s parents Quotes in The Scarlet Ibis

The The Scarlet Ibis quotes below are all either spoken by Doodle’s parents or refer to Doodle’s parents. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Expectations and Disappointment Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Creative Education edition of The Scarlet Ibis published in 1988.
The Scarlet Ibis Quotes

They did not know that I did it for myself, that pride, whose slave I was, spoke to me louder than all their voices, and that Doodle walked only because I was ashamed of having a crippled brother.

Related Characters: Brother (speaker), Doodle, Doodle’s parents, Aunt Nicey
Page Number: 23
Explanation and Analysis:
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Doodle’s parents Character Timeline in The Scarlet Ibis

The timeline below shows where the character Doodle’s parents appears in The Scarlet Ibis. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
The Scarlet Ibis
Expectations and Disappointment Theme Icon
Death Theme Icon
...a disappointment. He has a large head and a tiny, shriveled body. His doctor and parents believe that he will die quickly. Only Aunt Nicey has faith that Doodle will live.... (full context)
Expectations and Disappointment Theme Icon
Death Theme Icon
To everyone’s surprise, Doodle lives, and his parents decide to name him William Armstrong. Brother explains how excited he was to have someone... (full context)
Expectations and Disappointment Theme Icon
Pride Theme Icon
...to his family, and he demonstrates how he can walk slowly across the room. His parents and Aunt are overjoyed at seeing Doodle walk. Brother begins to cry because he knows... (full context)
Death Theme Icon
Humans and Nature Theme Icon
...a house of leaves with swamp birds for chickens. They’d swing through vines and their parents could even live with them. (full context)
Death Theme Icon
Humans and Nature Theme Icon
...1918), Doodle and Brother hear whispers of strange names: Chateau-Thierry, Amiens, and Soissons. At dinner, Mama also comments on a family who lost their son at Belleau Wood. (full context)
Death Theme Icon
Humans and Nature Theme Icon
A few days before school starts, Doodle, Brother, their parents, and their Aunt are having lunch. They hear a strange sound in the yard, and... (full context)
Death Theme Icon
Humans and Nature Theme Icon
...bird book that it is a scarlet ibis. The bird lives in the tropics, and Daddy guesses that it must have been carried up to North Carolina by a storm. Doodle... (full context)