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The Importance Of Loyalty In Short Stories

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Loyalty is a common literary theme because it is something that all people seek. Military companies, sports teams, and employers actively seek those they feel will be the most loyal to their cause. Loyalty provides a sense of stability and comfort. In many great literary works we see that the most loyal characters are those of meager existence. In the short stories “A White Heron,” “The Death of Ivan Ilych,” and “A Rose for Emily” a theme of undervalued loyalty becomes evident.
Sylvia, in Sarah Jewett’s “A White Heron,” was a young poor child who lived with her grandmother. Sylvia, even when tempted with money from the ornithologist, stayed loyal to the white heron though she knew where the bird was and could use the money it would bring to her. Her unwavering loyalty to the bird becomes clear in the statement, “She cannot tell the heron’s secret and give its life away” (Jewett 106). Gerasim in
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Sylvia is just a child yet she knows her loyalty toward the white heron is more important than the money she could get for giving his location up (Jewett 113). This character’s actions show even a child knows the importance of loyalty to the preservation of endangered species. This shows that everyone should know the importance of protecting species is important. Tolstoy’s character Gerasim who lives a simple life and is little more than a servant is the only one that can comfort Ivan Illich as he dies. This evidence shows Tolstoy’s opinion on what is really important in life (Tolstoy 114). Faulkner's character Tobe stayed loyal to miss Emily even when it would have been just as easy to tell the people of the town what she had done. He continued working hard for her even after this was not as necessary (Faulkner 217). This character is much like Faulkner in the fact that he continued working and living on his farm in Oxford Mississippi after this also was not necessary (Faulkner
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