What do Sylvia and the Heron have in common?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The heron represents a kind of freedom for which Sylvia longs, but in an instinctive way. She does not long for it in the way you might long for a mocha frappacino, for example. This longing is what we call inchoate. It is a deep longing which we all feel, and which for Sylvia is symbolized and activated by the heron. Its great wings, its soaring freedom and its simple "difference" from her are powerful, and stir in her powerful feelings of strength and freedom. When she climbs the pine tree, the vistas which open to her eyes and to her thinking are life changing, though she is only beginning to realize it. That too is like a vague stirring or premonition in her heart. We all want to be more than we are. To see further, to see more clearly--this is Sylvia growing up. The heron and Sylvia both just want to be as free as they can be. When she is in the tree, she is "with" the heron--high up and free.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
Soaring plane image

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial