A White Heron Literary Analysis

717 Words3 Pages
In the short story “A White Heron” by Sarah Orne Jewett, a nine-year-old girl named Sylvia is met in the woods by a young man hunting for birds as she is herding a cow back home. When Sylvia and the young man return to Sylvia’s grandmother’s farm, the grandmother graciously offers the man a place to stay. Due to the setting these characters are placed in, it allows them to act on their different desires and pleasures. The rural setting of this story allows Sylvia to be free. In the story, the reader is told that Sylvia had grown up in a “crowded manufacturing town” before moving to her grandmother’s farm. In addition, the grandmother states that Sylvia is, “‘Afraid of folks,’” which allows the reader to assume that Sylvia is very shy and…show more content…
The man is lost in the woods when he meets Sylvia and asks for a way back to the road. Instead, the man follows Sylvia home to where he asks her grandmother for a place to sleep for the night. During the late night conversation the grandmother and the man are having, the grandmother and Sylvia discover that the man is an ornithologist and is looking for a white heron. The next morning, in hopes of finding the bird, the man and Sylvia go hunting in the woods. “The next day the young sportsman hovered about the woods. He told her many things about the birds and what they knew and where they lived and what they did with themselves.” By being in the woods where many birds live, the young man is able to indulge in his desire to hunt birds. In addition, he is able to share his knowledge and love of birds with Sylvia. In conclusion, it is evident that the environment a person grows and lives in shapes the person she is. This is seen with the character Sylvia because by living in a secluded place, this allows Sylvia to enjoy nature and be herself. The seclusion of the farm allows the grandmother to focus on what matters most to her: caring for the things she loves. Lastly, with the abundance of birds in the woods, the ornithologist is able to do what brings him pleasure: hunt for birds to add to his
Open Document