In "A White Heron," what is the main conflict that Sylvia feels about the stranger?  

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Susan Hurn | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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In the story, Sylvia is a shy girl who is growing up. When she meets the stranger, the hunter in the story, she is drawn to him and enjoys his company. Sylvia feels the stirrings of a first love. The hunter wants to find and kill the white heron for his collection. Because he thinks Sylvia can help him find the bird, he offers her ten dollars to show him the heron's nest. Sylvia wants to gain his approval, and she and her grandmother need the money, but her conflict develops once she does find the heron's nest.

After climbing the tall pine and viewing the beautiful world in which the heron lives, Sylvia sees the heron itself. Its beauty and grace speak to her soul. For a little while, she lives in the heron's world and is changed forever. After that, Sylvia cannot give up the heron. She chooses instead to endure her grandmother's displeasure and the hunter's frustration and disappointment.

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