A White Heron Questions and Answers

A White Heron

“A White Heron” is an 1886 romantic short story written by American novelist, poet and short story writer Sarah Orne Jewett. It is the title story in her anthology A White Heron and Other Stories,...

Latest answer posted January 30, 2019, 6:28 am (UTC)

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A White Heron

Sylvia is the female version of the Latin name, Silvius. Silvius was notable in Roman mythology: ...named after his place of birth, Silva being the Latin word for forest or wood. As for Mrs....

Latest answer posted February 5, 2012, 2:08 pm (UTC)

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A White Heron

Sylvia, whose name connotes the forest, as it resembles the word sylvan, is a child of Nature; she is uncomfortable in the world of people. When her grandmother takes Sylvia from the crowded...

Latest answer posted January 7, 2018, 3:13 pm (UTC)

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A White Heron

The relationship between Sylvia and her grandmother is a good one. Mrs. Tilley seems to possess a better understanding of Sylvia and what makes her happy than Sylvia's mother did. Sylvia's...

Latest answer posted February 21, 2016, 4:37 pm (UTC)

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A White Heron

She is afraid of him. This is why: Sylvia is a young girl from a crowded town who has moved to live with her grandmother in the country. She is driving home a stubborn old cow, and it is getting...

Latest answer posted June 16, 2013, 9:23 pm (UTC)

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A White Heron

Exposition refers to the background information on characters, setting, and events that will help readers to understand the story. The exposition in "A White Heron" refers to this kind of...

Latest answer posted March 19, 2016, 4:10 pm (UTC)

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A White Heron

The hunter, or ornithologist, in the story remains unnamed because he is a symbol of mankind. You may notice that the other characters in the story are female, even the cow that Sylvia is leading...

Latest answer posted December 1, 2015, 2:16 am (UTC)

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A White Heron

The white heron's secret is the location of its nest, which the young hunter has been unable to locate for himself. He asks for Sylvia's help, and she stays awake all night thinking of how to learn...

Latest answer posted April 17, 2019, 5:46 pm (UTC)

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A White Heron

The first line contains a paradox of symbolism. There are shadows and a sunset that still "glimmered faintly." So, there is the foreboding image of the shadows juxtaposed with the hopeful image of...

Latest answer posted February 17, 2016, 12:23 am (UTC)

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A White Heron

One of Sylvia's chores each evening is finding her grandmother's cow in the woods and driving her home. This is what Sylvia was doing the day she met the hunger. Mrs. Tilley is not angry or worried...

Latest answer posted February 25, 2010, 1:48 pm (UTC)

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A White Heron

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...

Latest answer posted October 14, 2020, 7:31 pm (UTC)

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A White Heron

The resolution of “A White Heron” is that Sylvia decides not to tell the hunter about the bird, therefore protecting the bird but sacrificing her future happiness. Sylvia is a little girl who...

Latest answer posted January 30, 2013, 8:08 pm (UTC)

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A White Heron

At the beginning of the story, Sylvia who is age 9, is living with her grandmother and she is trying to conform to the country style of life. She carries out physical chores for her grandmother,...

Latest answer posted October 8, 2009, 3:30 pm (UTC)

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A White Heron

"A White Heron," first published in 1886, belongs to the local color movement in American literature which flourished after the Civil War. Although it is primarily romantic in tone and theme, the...

Latest answer posted April 10, 2009, 2:56 pm (UTC)

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A White Heron

One of the key ways in which the character of Sylvia and her traits are developed in this excellent short story is through the arrival of the handsome young hunter, who awakens within Sylvia...

Latest answer posted September 2, 2011, 9:05 pm (UTC)

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A White Heron

Sylvia and the heron are both elusive and mysterious creatures. Sylvia's tendency is to keep to herself and those people she knows well -- like her grandmother and her cow; she is made very...

Latest answer posted April 7, 2016, 12:29 am (UTC)

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A White Heron

The protagonist of this story is young Sylvia, a girl of nine who much prefers the company of animals to people. She used to live in the city but could not thrive there; however, she seems to have...

Latest answer posted April 17, 2016, 2:06 pm (UTC)

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A White Heron

The white heron can symbolize a few things. First, the heron symbolizes Sylvia's dedication and connection to nature. Sylvia has a special connection to and love for nature. She immediately...

Latest answer posted October 6, 2008, 12:32 pm (UTC)

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A White Heron

When the "woods-girl" first hears the tall young man, she is terrified as the "enemy" has discovered her. Then, when the ornithologist asks her how far it is to the road, it is with a trembling...

Latest answer posted October 18, 2013, 6:19 pm (UTC)

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A White Heron

As is often typical of many narratives, there is foreshadowing in Sarah Orne Jewett's "A White Heron." Certainly, it is important for a reader to be attentive to details in the expositions of...

Latest answer posted April 1, 2013, 9:25 pm (UTC)

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A White Heron

“A White Heron” is an 1886 short story written by Sarah Orne Jewett. Because of its thought-provoking themes, such as: the connection between humans and nature, isolation, inner peace, the chance...

Latest answer posted January 30, 2019, 7:50 am (UTC)

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A White Heron

Exposition: Maine, late 19th centuryMain Characters: Sylvia, 9 year old girl living in country with grandmother; Grandmother (Mrs. Tilley); Hunter (also identifites himself as an...

Latest answer posted October 25, 2008, 2:06 am (UTC)

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A White Heron

The shadow acts as a dual symbol in this story: it represents both the nature Sylvie feels part of and the threat of the invader. Early in the story, leading the milk cow home, the narrator uses...

Latest answer posted January 12, 2019, 2:26 am (UTC)

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A White Heron

In Jewett's "A White Heron," there is no doubt in my mind that Sylvia's decision to keep what she knows from the young man is a wise move, and it is believable because this is the kind of person...

Latest answer posted March 31, 2013, 10:59 pm (UTC)

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A White Heron

While I would not describe Sylvia as materialistic, she is certainly in awe of the ten dollars that the hunter offers her for information about where the white heron's nest is located. Sylvia is...

Latest answer posted September 14, 2019, 9:17 pm (UTC)

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A White Heron

Perhaps the relationship between man and nature is best stated in Jewett's description of Sylvia and the old cow of her grandmother, The companions followed the shady woodroad, the cow taking slow...

Latest answer posted June 17, 2013, 8:21 am (UTC)

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A White Heron

Your original question had to be edited as it actually contained three separate questions. Please note that enotes regulations state that you are only able to ask one question, and that no multiple...

Latest answer posted August 23, 2011, 5:35 am (UTC)

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A White Heron

In the short story "A White Heron" by Sarah Orne Jewett, a young girl named Sylvia lives with her grandmother in a house in the midst of the woods. One evening while Sylvia is leading the cow home...

Latest answer posted July 7, 2019, 6:08 pm (UTC)

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A White Heron

The difference appears to be that in the forest there is strength and thriving growth, in comparison to the wilted potted plant found in the town. The ‘wretched geranium’ is a comparison with...

Latest answer posted February 8, 2012, 9:14 am (UTC)

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A White Heron

Reading the first and final paragraphs of this excellent short story, which clearly has a very strong "green" message that is therefore appropriate for our times, there is a pleasing parallel...

Latest answer posted September 11, 2011, 8:54 pm (UTC)

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A White Heron

Anthropomorphism is assigning human traits or characteristics to non-human beings or objects. For example, "the river sings" gives the river, a non-human object, the characteristic of signing. In A...

Latest answer posted January 26, 2012, 2:21 am (UTC)

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A White Heron

Old Mrs. Tilley is actually Sylvia's grandmother. Mrs. Tilley is very "thankful" to have Sylvia to help her around her farm and chase the old cow who gets out all the time. Mrs. Tilley had chosen...

Latest answer posted March 16, 2016, 5:38 pm (UTC)

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A White Heron

It is true that the white heron and Sylvia share some common characteristics. They are both isolated and alone in the woods, they are both sought after, Sylvia for her knowledge of the woods and...

Latest answer posted January 29, 2009, 2:06 pm (UTC)

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A White Heron

Sarah Orne Jewett's "A White Heron" is a work of regionalism, meaning it is set in a particular region of the United States and attempts to replicate life in that region. This is part of the reason...

Latest answer posted May 8, 2018, 12:49 pm (UTC)

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A White Heron

"A White Heron" has many themes that could be interesting to address in an essay: 1. Role of the environment in the story: The author's careful descriptions of the woods, trees, and marshes could...

Latest answer posted May 7, 2013, 8:08 pm (UTC)

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A White Heron

The most important part of the story would be when Sylvia chooses not to tell the hunter about the Great White Heron that she saw. This is a turning point in the story. By doing so, Sylvia has...

Latest answer posted August 8, 2008, 2:23 pm (UTC)

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A White Heron

“A White Heron” presents the protagonist, Sylvia, as a girl who has recently discovered a deep love for nature. She wants to share her enjoyment and, when she meets an ornithologist, is also...

Latest answer posted March 17, 2021, 12:50 am (UTC)

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A White Heron

“The White Heron” is an initiation story on two levels. As a tale of maturity, it features a complete initiation. As Sarah learns the value of personal integrity, she is initiated into an aspect of...

Latest answer posted January 11, 2019, 10:47 pm (UTC)

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A White Heron

Jewett's "The White Heron" is set in a wooded rural area near the coast of Maine that is poor and sparsely populated. Nature dominates the story. As the tale opens, we see that Sylvia is driving a...

Latest answer posted April 23, 2020, 7:55 pm (UTC)

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A White Heron

Sylvia finds that the arrival of the young, handsome hunter kindles a desire within her to please him and to tell him the information that he is looking for. Fortunately, her knowledge of the woods...

Latest answer posted November 10, 2011, 7:28 pm (UTC)

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A White Heron

Both Sylvia and the white heron are reclusive children of nature. What a spirit of adventure, what wild ambition! What fancied triumph and delight and glory for the later morning when she could...

Latest answer posted July 15, 2013, 4:02 am (UTC)

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A White Heron

In Sarah Orne Jewitt's tale, one of the most prominent conflicts is the tension between flesh and the spirit. She leaves it to the reader to decide which is the better path. This tension, as the...

Latest answer posted June 4, 2007, 11:18 am (UTC)

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A White Heron

From this story, we can learn that some human beings thrive more completely in a natural setting than they do in an urban one; others are driven to possess nature's beauty and, in their attempt,...

Latest answer posted April 17, 2016, 1:49 pm (UTC)

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A White Heron

Formalism is a school of literary criticism that focuses only on features of the text, including its syntax, grammar, motifs, and tropes, rather than on the biography of the writer or the...

Latest answer posted February 28, 2017, 12:46 am (UTC)

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A White Heron

"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...

Latest answer posted February 21, 2016, 3:31 pm (UTC)

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A White Heron

The young man is an ornithologist and has a collection of “stuffed and preserved” bird species. He has been out hunting birds and has seen a rare white heron that he wants for his collection. Since...

Latest answer posted March 6, 2018, 3:14 pm (UTC)

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A White Heron

The climax of the story is the point at which Sylvia makes her decision to keep the location of the white heron’s nest to herself, rather than please the fascinating stranger who has elicited her...

Latest answer posted November 29, 2012, 5:21 am (UTC)

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A White Heron

In the short story "A White Heron" by Sarah Orne Jewett, a nine-year-old child named Sylvia who is bringing a cow home from pasture through the woods unexpectedly encounters a stranger. The man...

Latest answer posted March 16, 2021, 5:48 pm (UTC)

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A White Heron

Sylvia, the young girl who is the main character in the story, shows sympathy for the cow. Though the cow deliberately makes herself difficult to find, Sylvia treats the cow as if it were a human...

Latest answer posted August 17, 2019, 11:45 pm (UTC)

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A White Heron

As Sylvia climbs the tree, her “bare feet and fingers pinch and hold like a bird’s claws to the monstrous ladder reaching up.” She first climbs the oak tree before passing over to the tall pine...

Latest answer posted March 11, 2018, 10:20 am (UTC)

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