Sarah Orne Jewett's 'White Heron'

662 Words3 Pages
Riddhi Patel Dr. Elisabeth Bayley ENGL – Intro to Fiction “The White Heron” In Sarah Orne Jewett’s “A White Heron”, there is a sharp contrast between male and female repeat towards nature. The text embodies two literary schools which contradict each other –Realism and Romanticism. There are romantic ideals that develop as the story progresses, and yet the style, detail, settings and realistic characters exemplify Realism. Sylvia, a young girl who has an immense love for the birds in her area, speaks to them and treats them as though they were human friends. She meets a hunter who tells Sylvia and her grandmother about his stuffed bird collection. He expresses his desire to hunt a white heron to add it to his collection. Upon being asked if she knew the whereabouts of such a bird, Sylvia denies any such knowledge. While he is telling her about his admiration towards the birds, “she could not understand why he killed the very birds he seemed to like so much.” Despite projecting his power as a male over the Sylvia and the grandmother, Sylvia develops a feeling of wanting to please this young hunter. As the day passes, the hunter goes from being the ‘enemy’ to the…show more content…
She tries to get an unparalleled view of the forest by climbing up a pine tree. The tree, however, acts as a large bird of prey, restraining her from reaching the top of the tree. The tree’s ‘sharp, dry twigs caught and held her and scratched her like angry talons.” Although the tree challenges her, it supports her too; Sylvia is one with her environment. She contemplates the man’s words of how he could make them rich with money. Jewett qualifies the concept or ‘rich’ by adding a second element to it – “with money.” This points shows the two types of ‘rich’ that are attainable to Sylvia. She possesses the other, namely, the quality of richness of her life in the

More about Sarah Orne Jewett's 'White Heron'

Open Document