Symbolism and The Scarlet Ibis by James Hurst

three scarlet ibis flying

What can I say about “The Scarlet Ibis” that isn’t on Wikipedia? This 1960 short story is loved by English teachers because of its clear literary symbols — a good introduction to symbolism, especially to colour symbolism.

In this post I’ll break down the story structure from a writing point of view. I’ll be making use of John Truby’s ‘ Morality Character Template’ for the unnamed narrator, because this is a morally flawed individual.

COLOUR SYMBOLISM

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