About "Scarlet Ibis" and "The Cub"

In the short stories, “The Scarlet Ibis” and “The Cub”, both authors use character development to craft the coming of age theme.

As the stories open, we learn about the central characters. Brother, the main character of “The Scarlet Ibis”, is a sporty and energetic person. He is an athletic person because he wanted to teach Doodle how to walk; as a result, he puts all his time and then eventually succeeds. Bill, the main character in “The Cub”, is full of fun. The boy is playful because he always likes to play cub with his father whenever he comes back home. As the stories continue, the young men face challenges.

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In “The Scarlet Ibis”, Brother tries to make Doodle fit like everyone else when he starts school for his first time. Although Doodle thinks that it would not make a difference to learn how to walk even though he is five, Doodle tries to deal with the harsh challenge. Another example of a challenge that the main character faces in “The Cub” is that the little boy wanted to have a fight with his dad. He says, “‘Come on, Dad.’ His father took off his coat and began to unbutton his shirt.” As the climaxes of the stories intensify, the characters experience epiphanies.

Towards the end of “The Scarlet Ibis”, Brother realizes that he has done some malicious things to Doodle. Because he left Doodle by abandoning him while Doodle begs him not to, Brother felt cruelty against him. On the other hand, the boy in “The Cub” thought that he injured his father by wrestling with him. When his dad answered, “Heck no, I’m alright. Next time…” the boy ran outside and felt the air cooling his body while tears ran down his cheeks.

The authors of “The Scarlet Ibis” and “The Cub” masterfully construct characters who face the struggles of growing up.