How does "A White Heron" by Sarah Orne Jewett illustrate a theme of nature vs. civilization?

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"A White Heron" helps to explore the theme of nature vs. civilization through the relationship between Sylvia and the hunter, who represent these entities, respectively.

Sylvia is very much aligned with nature; she is often compared to natural objects and creatures.  At first, the narrator says that she, like a flower, "had tried to grow for eight years in a crowded manufacturing town" and that Sylvia felt "as if she never had been alive at all before she came to live at the farm." Living in the country, nearer to nature, is what has brought Sylvia to life; it is vital to her.  Later, when the hunter asks her name, "she hung her head as if the stem of it were broken [...]" before answering him.  He seems to have the ability to damage or break her. Near the end, as she climbs the great pine tree to look for the heron, "her bare feet and fingers [...]...

(The entire section contains 475 words.)

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