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Literary Elements In A White Heron

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Adventure and desire are common qualities in humans and Sarah Orne Jewett’s excerpt from “A White Heron” is no different. The heroine, Sylvia, a “small and silly” girl, is determined to do whatever it takes to know what can be seen from the highest point near her home. Jewett uses literary elements such as diction, imagery, and narrative pace to dramatize this “gray-eyed child” on her remarkable adventure. Word choice and imagery are necessary elements to put the reader in the mind of Sylvia as she embarks on her treacherous climb to the top of the world. Jewett is picturesque when describing Sylvia’s journey to the tip of one unconquered pine tree. The first evidence of this is when Sylvia feels the “tingling, eager blood coursing the channels of her whole frame, with her bare feet and fingers, that pinched and held like a bird’s claw to the monstrous ladder reaching up” (18), this gives the reader a feel for what the heroine is going through as she beings to plan to journey. The description of her blood shows the adrenalin that she is feeling about the…show more content…
By using an excessive amount of comas, she is able to capture the rush. An example of this is when Sylvia takes her “daring step across into the old pine-tree” (35) and finds out the task at hand is harder than believed. The run on sentence describing the difference of the oak tree to the pine tree allows the reader to infer the danger present and allows Sylvia to be portrayed even more as a heroine. Jewett utilizes narrative pace is again when youthful Sylvia is almost to the summit, describing how she is becoming part of the tree by successfully defeating its obstacle like “all the hawks, and bats, and moths” (50) and the animals, who for centuries have been known to use this tree. It is with this that narrative pace is used to help dramatize the heroine’s adventure to the top of an unknown
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