An Analysis of a White Heron: Short Story
Sylvia’s passion for the outdoors and desire to be alone are shown through her interaction with the hunter in “A White Heron”. Sarah Orne Jewett wrote the story. It depicts the struggle between Sylvia’s love of the natural world, and her desire for material wealth, as well as the temptation to succumb to the lure of the hunter.
Sylvia is a naturalist and her love of nature can be seen in her close connection to the white heron. Sylvia spends her time in the woods learning and observing the plants and animals around her. Sylvia finds inspiration in the heron, which is both a symbol for nature’s beauty and simplicity. Jewett 754: She said, “I don’t see any white herons anymore but I remember my grand-grand-bird.” The emotional connection Sylvia formed with herons and how it represents her love of the natural world is evident in this quote. Sylvia is however threatened by the hunter. The hunter offers Sylvia a reward for her information, and even promises her material gains. Sylvia decides to preserve the wild herons and the natural beauty in the woods, resolving the conflict. Jewett 758, she said, “I couldn’t see the pretty white bird…I could’t be as mean.” Sylvia is a strong advocate for the environment and has made this decision to protect it even though she may lose some personal gains.
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