A White Heron Literary Analysis Essay

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This passage from “A white Heron”, by Sarah Orne Jewett, details a short yet epic journey of a young girl, and it is done in an entertaining way. Jewett immediately familiarizes us with our protagonist, Sylvia, in the first paragraph, and our antagonist: the tree. However, this is a bit more creative, as the tree stands not only as an opponent, but as a surmountable object that can strengthen and inspire Sylvia as she climbs it. This “old pine” is described as massive, to the point where it, “towered above them all and made a landmark for sea and shore miles and miles away.” (Line 8). This kind of description shows the reader how impressive and majestic this tree is, as it puts a vivid picture in the reader’s mind as something that is not only unrivaled in terms of altitude, but it can also be seen from the sea, which highlights its stature as a wholly independent object. Old as it is, this pine is strong, and does not need any assistance from the ecosystem surrounding it. The importance of this giant tree, along with other details that make the story more interesting, is what dramatizes this young heroine’s adventure. …show more content…

This choice also likely leads to more detailed imagery, which complements the story as well, as it has the ability to make the reader feel as if they are right there with Sylvia. Phrases such as, “it was like a great main-mast to the voyaging earth” simply aren’t likely to be heard from a young child such as Sylvia (Line 42). In addition to her detailed imagery and mature account of the plot, Jewett’s success chiefly stems from her retelling of the series of events, as the way she builds up the tree to be so impactful and even somewhat intimidating is done

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