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What conflict does Sylvia face in "The White Heron" by Sarah Orne Jewett?

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nsaxton2012 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 31, 2012 at 3:05 AM via web

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What conflict does Sylvia face in "The White Heron" by Sarah Orne Jewett?

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kiwi | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted January 31, 2012 at 3:44 AM (Answer #1)

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Sylvia's conflict is that she is fascinated by the 'stranger' who comes to their property but she is also loyal to the creatures which are part of her world.

The traveller tells of collecting birds, and her grandmother highlights Sylvia's ability with the animals. Sylvia is intrigued by the hunter, though becomes upset when she sees the birds he has shot.

He offers ten dollars for the location of the nest of the white heron. This money would be a great benefit to her family, and Sylvia is at first drawn to help him. She is flattered when he gives her his jack-knife as a gift-

the woman's heart, asleep in the child was vaguely thrilled by a dream of love.

However, when Sylvia climbs the great pine tree to locate the heron's nest, the powers of nature draw her back and remind her of her alliance to them. She chooses not to reveal the location of the nest, remaining a

lonely country child.

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