Just as the scarlet ibis parallels Doodle’s story, the storm is analogous to Brother’s pride and the tyrannical authority he wields over his brother. One storm brings the ibis far from its home in the tropics to North Carolina, where its wings become mangled, leaving it unable to fly. The storm at the very end of the short story—perhaps even the same storm—leads to Doodle’s death, whipping past while the two brothers try to run home. While it is easy to blame the storm for Doodle’s death, the responsibility arguably rests on Brother. Because Brother could not accept Doodle’s failure to become a normal boy, he abandons Doodle, leaving him to fend for himself in the storm. Thus, the storm is symbolic of the devastating effects that human pride and cruelty can have.
The Storm Quotes in The Scarlet Ibis
He had failed and we both knew it, so we started back home, racing the storm. We never spoke (What are the words that can solder cracked pride?), but I knew he was watching me, watching for a sign of mercy.
I screamed above the pounding storm and threw my body to the earth above his. For a long time, it seemed forever, I lay there crying, sheltering my fallen scarlet ibis from the heresy of rain.