Heron and Other Stories. Sarah Orne Jewett .. I caught a glimpse of a white heron a few miles from here on Saturday, and I have followed it in this direction. A WHITE HERON Source for information on A White Heron by Sarah Orne Jewett , Reference Guide to Short Fiction dictionary. Use our free chapter-by-chapter summary and analysis of A White Heron. It helps middle and high school students understand Sarah Orne Jewett’s literary.

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A young man, an ornitholo-gist from the city, is tracking a rare white heron to add to his collection. It was like a great main-mast to the voyaging earth; it must truly have sarsh amazed that morning through all its ponderous frame as it felt this determined spark of human spirit wending its way from higher branch to branch.

Some premonition of that great power stirred and swayed these young creatures who traversed the solemn woodlands with soft-footed silent care.

The author explores a number of ecological themes including the freedom of nature, a return to nature, bu from materialism and industrialism. She grieved because the longed-for white heron was elusive, but she did not lead the guest, she only followed, and there was no such thing as speaking first.

Not far beyond were the salt marshes just this side the sea itself, which Sylvia wondered and dreamed much about, but never had seen, jewrtt great voice could sometimes be heard above the noise of the woods on stormy nights. The splendid moment to speak about her secret had come. I caught a glimpse of a white heron a few sara from here jewet Saturday, and I have followed it in this direction. Responding to a complimentary letter from Jewett, Mary E.

Stevenson also articulates when she sees the tale as “a rite of passage from the safe world of childhood to the precarious, lonely, self-determined world of adulthood. This section possibly contains original research. Early commentators pointed out how the tale fit into the canon of the local color school.

In her climb up the pine Sylvia is imagistically identified with the bird. The cow stopped at a small stream to drink.

Smith find that the narrative voice, especially in the exhortations to Sylvia and to nature, enhances the theme of the story. Sylvia wondered what her grandmother would say because they were so late. She did not dare to look down and tried to forget that her fingers hurt and her feet were bleeding.


As she follows the ornithologist, he shoots birds out of the air or of trees and Sylvia begins to question why a heton must kill the birds he studies. It was Sylvie’s job to bring her home to be milked.


This young man is searching in particular for the rare white heron, and he is sure that it makes its nest in the vicinity. Half a mile from home, at the farther edge of the woods, where the land was highest, a great pine-tree stood, the last of its generation. She also discovers her passion for country life and her love and values for the animals that inhabit it. Where I have noticed probable errors in a text, I have added a correction and indicated the change with brackets.

I have over different kinds of birds from all over the United States in my study at home. Whether it was left for a boundary mark, or for what reason, no one could say; the woodchoppers who had felled its mates were dead and gone long ago, and a whole forest of sturdy trees, pines and oaks shite maples, had grown again.

Would not her grandmother consider her much to blame?

A White Heron by Sarah Orne Jewett, |

However, it was not much farther to the house, and the air was soft and sweet. By remaining silent when the man presses her for information about the heron’s nest, she chooses to preserve the heron rather than betray her woodland friend. No amount of thought, that night, could decide how many wished-for treasures the ten dollars, so lightly spoken of, would buy. Bring your gifts and graces and tell your secrets to this lonely country child! The guest waked from a dream, and remembering his day’s pleasure hurried to dress himself that it might sooner begin.

Likewise, the setting, the rural community where Sylvia retires to to live with her grandmother takes on the feeling of a fairy tale landscape. She wanted to be his friend. Suddenly the air was cut by a sharp whistle not far away.

The story concerns Sylvia, a shy little girl who, rescued by her grandmother from life in “a crowded manufacturing town,” now feels at home in the Maine woods. Dan an’ his father they didn’t hitch, — but he never held up his head ag’in after Dan had dared him an’ gone off.

Where else do you see this tension occur in the story? After she climbs the tree and views the heron by herself, in essence communing with it, she refuses to tell the scientist where the heron resides, even though her grandmother rebukes her because they need the money that the man promises them for their assistance.


Then it lifted its wings and flew away. They stopped to listen to a bird’s song; they pressed forward again eagerly, parting the branches — speaking to each other rarely and in whispers; the young man going first and Sylvia following, fascinated, a few steps behind, with her gray eyes dark with excitement.

Renza uses the story as a starting point for his exploration of the issues in the canonical status of minor literature. That night Sylvie’s dreams were full of all the wonderful things she and her grandmother could buy for ten dollars.

I’ve been looking for it ever since. Richard Cary sees Sylvia as undergoing a rite of initiation, a theme that Catherine B. From a letter to Annie Fields, written in early Fields, Letters Please improve it by verifying the claims made and adding inline citations.

A White Heron

This tale about the test of a young girl’s love of nature has become one of Jewett’s most popular stories. Sylvie jewftt a long sigh.

Here she comes now, paler than ever, and her worn old frock is torn and tattered, and smeared with pine pitch. The young man had known the horrors of its most primitive housekeeping, and the dreary squalor of that level of society which does not rebel at the companionship of hens.

She was not often in the woods so late as this, and it made her feel as if she were a part of the gray shadows and the moving leaves. Westward, the woodlands and farms reached miles and miles into the distance; here and there were church steeples, and white villages, truly it was a vast and awesome world. Bring your gifts and graces and tell your secrets to this lonely country child!

All she wanted to think about was what the stranger would say to her when she told him where to find the heron’s nest.