In "A White Heron," what does the ornithologist offer in exchange for information about the white heron? Why might this offer be tempting to Sylvia and/or her grandmother?

In "A White Heron," the ornithologist offers ten dollars in exchange for information about where to find the heron. This was a large sum of money in the 1880s, and Sylvia thinks a great deal about what she could buy with it. The next day, she also finds herself falling in love with the young man, which makes her even more anxious to help him.

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The ornithologist in "A White Heron" offers ten dollars to anyone who can show him the heron. This was a large sum of money in the 1880s, when "A White Heron" was written, equivalent to about a week's wages for an average American. The author adds,

No amount...

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The ornithologist in "A White Heron" offers ten dollars to anyone who can show him the heron. This was a large sum of money in the 1880s, when "A White Heron" was written, equivalent to about a week's wages for an average American. The author adds,

No amount of thought, that night, could decide how many wished-for treasures the ten dollars, so lightly spoken of, would buy.

The money alone, therefore, is a great temptation to Sylvia and her grandmother. Their life in the Maine woods is a simple one, and such a sum would make an appreciable difference to their way of life. However, Sylvia also finds herself personally drawn to the friendly young man, with whom she spends the following day. He gives her a jack-knife, which she regards as a great treasure, and tells her a great many interesting facts about birds. Her only reservation about her new friend is his insistence on killing the birds about which he is so knowledgeable and which he seems to like so much. Despite this flaw, however, he is very agreeable company, and, by the end of the day, Sylvia thinks she has "never seen anybody so charming and delightful" and starts to fall in love with the young man. This makes her even more eager to help him.

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