Write an expository paragraph of 5-7 sentences explaining why Sylvia does not (or cannot) speak in "A White Heron." Use at least 4 supporting details from the story in your writing.

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Sylvia has difficult speaking to strangers especially because she is somewhat "'"Afraid of folks,"'" as her grandmother was told when she chose Sylvia to help her on the farm from among her daughter's many children.  The little girl seems to realize that the best way to hear the sounds of...

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Sylvia has difficult speaking to strangers especially because she is somewhat "'"Afraid of folks,"'" as her grandmother was told when she chose Sylvia to help her on the farm from among her daughter's many children.  The little girl seems to realize that the best way to hear the sounds of nature is by being quiet herself: she could listen "to the thrushes with a heart that beat fast with pleasure," and she hears the "stirring in the great boughs overhead" which are full of "little birds and beasts" that chatter and twitter away like friends.  

However, when she hears the hunter's whistle, she is "horror-stricken," attempting to hide in silence, and perceives of him as an "enemy."  When he mentions the reward of $10 that he's willing to give anyone who helps him find the heron's nest, Sylvia gets lost in reveries about the "many wished-for treasures" that she could purchase with so much money (as it seems like a vast fortune to her).  Even as she grows more and more comfortable in the hunter's presence, she is still "troubled [and] afraid" when he shoots and kills some "unsuspecting singing creature" from its perch in the trees.

In short, Sylvia seems to speak little (or not at all) for various reasons: there is her general discomfort around people; silence it allows her to hear nature's sounds better; she's imaginative and can get wrapped up in her fantasies; and she intuitively understands that the hunter is ultimately harming, not preserving, the birds that she loves so very much.

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