You will always have the happiness of finding friendships in books, and it grows pleasanter and pleasanter as one grows older. Here Jewett states one of the central aims of her fiction, to help people learn the arts of friendship. Chief among these arts is tact, which Jewett defines in The Country of the Pointed Firs as a perfect self-forgetfulness that allows one to enter reverently and sympathetically the sacred realms of the inner lives of others. In her stories, learning tact is often a major element, and those who are successful are often rewarded with epiphanies—moments of visionary union with individuals or with nature—or with communion—the feeling of oneness with another person that for Jewett is the ultimate joy of friendship.
Check new design of our homepage! The White Heron addresses the issue of the impact of modernization and civilization on nature, and the environment and the choice one has to make over the other.
This article gives you the summary, analysis, and the various symbolism used in "A White Heron". Penlighten Staff Perseverance Provides Results When Jewett first took this short story to the editor of the Atlantic Monthly, William Dean Howells, who had encouraged and published some of her previous works, he rejected the piece saying it was too "romantic" and failed to make a point.
Sarah Orne Jewett is known for her feminist and romantic pieces of literature. Her works reflect her own experiences as a young girl in Maine, who spent a lot of time in the wombs of nature and fell in love with its beauty and tranquility. Unmarried and independent of a man, she set out to write pieces that spoke of both women and nature as central themes and was known to use local color depiction, or in other words, the use of realist subjects and focuses on the themes, the setting, imagery, and in-depth character profiles that pertain to a certain region.
In "A White Heron and Other Stories", Jewett focuses on the relationships between nature and society, the effects of urbanization on our surroundings, and the conflict within man to make a choice between what could be fulfilling and what is right.
We will focus on the title story, "A White Heron" and explain the same, along with the literary devices used. SUMMARY A Little about Sylvia The story is set in the late 17th-century English wilderness, and starts off with the story of a 9-year-old girl named Sylvia, who is bringing back her grandmother's cow, Mistress Moolly, back from grazing, through the enchanting forest.
It has been a year since she has moved from the "crowded manufacturing town" into the country home of her Grandma, Mrs.
We are told that she is not very good at socializing and is "afraid of folk". Being in the wilderness, surrounded by nature made her feel more alive than all the 8 years she had spent in the town. She enjoyed her walks in the forest, was privy to all the paths, and was friendly with the animals.
Meeting the "Enemy" On her way back home, she hears a sharp whistle and realizes it is not a "friendly" one like those of the birds, but rather a "more aggressive" tone of a man, who reminded her of a "red-faced boy" from the town who used to frighten her, thus attributing the term "enemy" to this unknown stranger.
She soon finds out that he is an ornithologist, who is out hunting birds and has lost his way in the process. He requests to be allowed to stay a couple of nights, while he is out on his quest. She warily leads the kind man to her home. He is welcomed by Mrs. Tilley who is a kind host and graciously offers him lodgings.
While they sit out and talk, he tells them that he is out searching for a white heron, which he wants to add to his collection of self-hunted and stuffed birds.
Tilley tells him about Sylvia's knowledge of the woods and her connections with the animals and birds, he sees it as an opportunity to take advantage of her and find his target.
Warming Up to the Stranger The next day, she goes on a walk through the forest, and her fear of the kind man slowly fades away as they talk about birds. He gifts her a jackknife, which to her is like a great "treasure".
She did make note that she "would have liked him vastly better without his gun" and didn't understand how he "killed the very birds he liked so much". But as she spent more time, her fear turned to "loving admiration".
A feeling of infatuation overcomes her as "she had never seen anybody so charming and delightful; the woman's heart, asleep in the child, was vaguely thrilled by a dream of love".
Although she was meant to lead him, she merely followed. They return home empty-handed as they once again fail to locate the heron. Setting Out on an Adventure Sylvia makes up her mind that the only way to locate the bird would be to climb the majestic pine tree that seemed to reach out into the sky.
At first, it seemed as if nature was working against her, making her climb all the more difficult. But through the course of her journey, it seems as though the tree warms up to her and aids her in her climb upwards. Achieving Transcendence When she reaches the top of the tree, the sights she sees sets her free.
It seems as though land stretches for miles and miles.
She saw the mighty sea, and all the birds and beauty around her, and her heart raced with joy. And then she found the elegant heron and its nest, and her journey felt complete.
She wondered how the hunter would react to her newfound discovery and how he would be impressed. Making a Choice Finally when she reaches home and is questioned by both her grandmother and the hunter, something in her warms her heart towards the heron, and she couldn't find it in herself to sacrifice the life of the bird, despite the promises of money and a hopeful romance.
The author ends on an ambiguous note where she puts forth a question as to whether the choice made by Sylvy was the right one, and if so, all she could hope for was that nature gave back to her treasures to make up for the loss of companionship and money.
The Geranium Like the Geranium in the house of her neighbor back in town, she thought that it didn't belong there and was out of place. This is similar to Sylvia's true identity where she connected with nature and its surroundings, and not in town, amidst industrialization and loss of harmony.
Gray Eyes In most of the stories, Jewett mentions the color gray. The gray color, thus, shows the dilemma and discord between the two opposing ideas. It is also used to show the connection between Sylvia and the gray-winged birds, thus, establishing the relationship between her and nature.
The Pine Tree The large and magnificent pine tree reflects clarity of thought, which Sylvia achieves upon conquering its heights.A White Heron is a short story by American author Sarah Orne Jewett.
First published in , it was later used as the title story in A White Heron and Other Stories, an anthology of Jewett’s writing.
A White Heron by Sarah Orne Jewett. Home / Literature / A White Heron / A White Heron Analysis Literary Devices in A White Heron. In many ways, the New England countryside is the fourth main character of "A White Heron." This wondrous natural environment is the key to the story since it's the thing that the hunter wants to ta.
In Sarah Orne Jewett's short story "The White Heron," the protagonist, Sylvia, changes from a vulnerable young girl seeking approval to a strong person who knows that nature is more valuable than. A White Heron and Other Stories study guide contains a biography of author Sarah Orne Jewett, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.
About A White Heron and Other Stories.
A White Heron and Other Stories, " A White Heron " is a short story by Sarah Orne Jewett. First published by Houghton, Mifflin and Company in , it was soon collected as the title story in Jewett's anthology A White Heron and Other Stories.
Sarah Orne Jewett with his short story “A White Heron” revealed the main points in the life of every person, especially a woman. She depicted the contrasting points of life and their solution in the girl’s life.