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  • A White Heron

    What does the protagonist decide and what action does the protagonist take because of this action…
    Sylvia, the protagonist of the story, climbs the tall pine tree and spots the white heron’s nest from there. Despite her initial plan to tell the hunter about the bird’s home and claim the $10 he…

    1 educator answer

  • A White Heron

    What do you think is real about realism? Please also give me some specific reasons why Jewett’s…
    Realism is a movement in literature in which authors attempt to depict life realistically. This means that authors tend to describe the minutiae of daily life in detail and tend to feature…

    1 educator answer

  • A White Heron

    How would Sylvia’s and her grandmother’s lives have changed if they had the ten dollars from…
    The hunter, in an attempt to persuade Sylvia to reveal the location of the white heron’s nest, says that he would give ten dollars to any person who could help him find it. For Sylvia, “No amount…

    1 educator answer

  • A White Heron

    How can I write a formalist thesis about “A White Heron” by Sarah Orne Jewet? I have to find two…
    Formalism is a school of literary criticism that focuses only on features of the text, including its syntax, grammar, motifs, and tropes, rather than on the biography of the writer or the…

    1 educator answer

  • A White Heron

    What is one motif in “A White Heron” by Sarah Orne Jewett?
    Motifs are recurring symbols which support the themes or main ideas in any story. In A White Heron, the young sportsman’s gun is a recurring motif. To Sylvia, the gun represents strange emotions…

    1 educator answer

  • A White Heron

    In “A White Heron,” how does Jewett use Sylvia’s interest in birds to advance the plot?
    Sarah Orne Jewett uses Sylvia’s interest in birds to advance the plot when we learn that the visiting hunter’s priority is locating the nest belonging to the white heron he’s seen in the woods. On…

    1 educator answer

  • A White Heron

    How would you describe Sylvia?
    Sylvia is very shy around people. When she lived in the city, her family believed that she was “‘Afraid of folks,'” and it wasn’t until she moved to the country, away from the “crowded…

    2 educator answers

  • A White Heron

    What type of personality does Sylvia have in “A White Heron”? What in the story lets the reader…
    Sylvia feels especially alive in the natural setting and could never seem to thrive and grow when she lived in the city. Listening to thrushes near her grandmother’s farm, her “heart […] beat…

    2 educator answers

  • A White Heron

    What do Sylvia and the heron have in common?
    Sylvia and the heron are both elusive and mysterious creatures. Sylvia’s tendency is to keep to herself and those people she knows well — like her grandmother and her cow; she is made very…

    1 educator answer

  • A White Heron

    What is Sylvia’s reaction when she first sees the hunter in “A White Heron”?
    Sylvia hears the hunter before she sees him. He whistles, loudly and clearly, and she is “horror-stricken” because she immediately figures out that it isn’t a bird’s whistle she hears but a boy’s….

    1 educator answer

  • A White Heron

    What is the exposition in the story, “A White Heron”?
    Exposition refers to the background information on characters, setting, and events that will help readers to understand the story. The exposition in “A White Heron” refers to this kind of…

    1 educator answer

  • A White Heron

    In “A White Heron,” what was the relationship between Sylvia and old Mrs. Tilley?
    Old Mrs. Tilley is actually Sylvia’s grandmother. Mrs. Tilley is very “thankful” to have Sylvia to help her around her farm and chase the old cow who gets out all the time. Mrs. Tilley had chosen…

    1 educator answer

  • A White Heron

    In “A White Heron” the story opens in the woods among shadows. Why did the author make that…
    The first line contains a paradox of symbolism. There are shadows and a sunset that still “glimmered faintly.” So, there is the foreboding image of the shadows juxtaposed with the hopeful image of…

    1 educator answer

  • A White Heron

    In “A White Heron,” why does the author use shadows?
    In “A White Heron,” Sarah Orne Jewett uses references to shadows in order to foreshadow the coming of the hunter, a figure that represents a force which is hostile to nature, and establish the…

    1 educator answer

  • A White Heron

    Describe both the protagonist and the antagonist of “A White Heron.”
    The protagonist of this story is young Sylvia, a girl of nine who much prefers the company of animals to people. She used to live in the city but could not thrive there; however, she seems to have…

    1 educator answer

  • A White Heron

    Why does the young man spend several nights at Mrs. Tilley’s cottage?
    In the story, the young man is an amateur ornithologist who has been hunting and appears to have lost his way. At least, that is what he tells Sylvia, whose grandmother, Mrs. Tilley, promptly…

    2 educator answers

  • A White Heron

    In “A White Heron,” how has the child changed upon arriving home from her night on the tree? How…
    On the surface “A White Heron” is about a little girl who becomes tempted by money, but eventually decides that she’d rather allow a bird to live. Upon further analysis, however, it becomes clear…

    1 educator answer

  • A White Heron

    How is “A White Heron,” by Sarah Orne Jewett, a work of literary realism?
    An author of a work of literary realism aims to depict the everyday world in a realistic — as opposed to idealistic — way. This is what Jewett attempts to do through her description of the…

    2 educator answers

  • A White Heron

    Consider Sylvia’s grandmother. Define her relationship with Sylvia. How is her relationship with…
    The relationship between Sylvia and her grandmother is a good one. Mrs. Tilley seems to possess a better understanding of Sylvia and what makes her happy than Sylvia’s mother did. Sylvia’s…

    1 educator answer

  • A White Heron

    How are Sylvia and the stranger similar? How are they different? Why did Sylvia not tell the…
    Sylvia and the stranger are similar in that they both have (or claim to have) a real appreciation for the beauty of nature. Just as Sylvia has a special appreciation for the birds, so does he. He…

    1 educator answer

  • A White Heron

    The point of view changes throughout the story. From what point of view is the story told the most?
    Although the omniscient narrator relates the story with the focus upon Sylvia for most of the story, there are a few moments when the perspective shifts to Mrs. Tilley and the hunter. Sarah Orne…

    1 educator answer

  • A White Heron

    What are the objects that represent Sylvia? Please provide explanations.
    At the beginning of the story, Sylvia is compared to a flower: she had “tried to grow for eight years” in the city but could not. “She thought often with wistful compassion of a wretched dry…

    1 educator answer

  • A White Heron

    What do the hunter and the white heron symbolize in “A White Heron?”
    There is definitely a dichotomy or a binary opposition set up here between culture and nature. This opposition is also suggestive of the town and country duality. The White Heron represents nature….

    1 educator answer

  • A White Heron

    What can we learn about human existence in “A White Heron” by Sarah Orne Jewett?
    From this story, we can learn that some human beings thrive more completely in a natural setting than they do in an urban one; others are driven to possess nature’s beauty and, in their attempt,…

    1 educator answer

  • A White Heron

    Write an expository paragraph of 5-7 sentences explaining why Sylvia does not (or cannot) speak…
    Sylvia has difficult speaking to strangers especially because she is somewhat “‘”Afraid of folks,”‘” as her grandmother was told when she chose Sylvia to help her on the farm from among her…

    1 educator answer

  • A White Heron

    In the story “A White Heron,” why is the hunter unnamed?
    The hunter, or ornithologist, in the story remains unnamed because he is a symbol of mankind. You may notice that the other characters in the story are female, even the cow that Sylvia is leading…

    1 educator answer

  • A White Heron

    Infer the ways the stranger tries to persuade Sylvia to help him.
    One of the ways in which the stranger tries to convince Sylvia to help him find the heron is by saying that “[He] would give ten dollars to anybody who could show it to me.” Such a sum inspired…

    1 educator answer

  • A White Heron

    Is the hunter an antagonist or a minor character?
    The hunter is not the antagonist of the story because he is simply a representative of the real antagonist: society. Sylvia, the protagonist, is very much a representative of nature. She is often…

    1 educator answer

  • A White Heron

    What is the description of the tree in “A White Heron”?
    In “A White Heron,” the great pine tree is described in Part II. The narrator says, “the stately head of this old pine towered above [the other trees] and made a landmark for sea and shore miles…

    1 educator answer

  • A White Heron

    How does “A White Heron” by Sarah Orne Jewett illustrate a theme of nature vs. civilization?
    “A White Heron” helps to explore the theme of nature vs. civilization through the relationship between Sylvia and the hunter, who represent these entities, respectively. Sylvia is very much aligned…

    1 educator answer

  • A White Heron

    What is the introduction of “A White Heron”?
    The introduction of this story is really contained in the first three paragraphs. These paragraphs introduce the setting of the story—the country, replete with beautiful landscapes—as well as…

    1 educator answer

  • A White Heron

    The entire story is permeated with images of shadow, light, and woods. Cite examples of how each…
    Two references to shadow occur early in the story, prior to the arrival of the stranger, and they seem to foreshadow the danger to nature he poses. In the first line, the narrator says, “The woods…

    1 educator answer

  • A White Heron

    What is a summary of “A White Heron”?
    A “local color” story, “A White Heron” by Sarah Orne Jewett is a tale of a young girl whose love for nature conflicts with her infatuation with a young man. Sylvia has been rescued from the crowded…

    1 educator answer

  • A White Heron

    In “A White Heron” by Sarah Orne Jewett, explain at least 5 allusions to children’s narratives in…
    It is clear that this short story alludes to a number of different fairy tales in order to paint the picture of Sylvia, the central character, and how isolated and innocent she is. Note, for…

    1 educator answer

  • A White Heron

    What is a description of Sylvia’s relationship with the stranger in “The White Heron”?
    When the “woods-girl” first hears the tall young man, she is terrified as the “enemy” has discovered her. Then, when the ornithologist asks her how far it is to the road, it is with a trembling…

    1 educator answer

  • A White Heron

    What is Sylvia’s attitude about money in “A White Heron” by Sarah Orne Jewett?
    The main character (protagonist) in “A White Heron,” by Sarah Orne Jewett, is a young girl named Sylvia. She lives on a farm with her grandmother, but she has not always lived there. She came to…

    1 educator answer

  • A White Heron

    How is Sarah Orne Jewett’s “The White Heron” an example of local color realism?
    “A White Heron,” by Sarah Orne Jewett, is an excellent example of local color because of its realism. Local color refers to an author’s use of the language (dialect) and manners of a particular…

    2 educator answers

  • A White Heron

    In “A White Heron,” by Sarah Orne Jewett, Sylvia does not tell the man where to find the white…
    In Sarah Orne Jewett’s “A White Heron,” nine-year-old Sylvia chooses between telling the man where the heron nests (and allowing the man to kill it) or protecting the bird and its nest. There is a…

    2 educator answers

  • A White Heron

    What do Sylvia and the heron have in common in The White Heron?
    Both Sylvia and the white heron are reclusive children of nature. What a spirit of adventure, what wild ambition! What fancied triumph and delight and glory for the later morning when she could…

    1 educator answer

  • A White Heron

    what is Sylvia intial reaction to the young man?
    She is afraid of him. This is why: Sylvia is a young girl from a crowded town who has moved to live with her grandmother in the country. She is driving home a stubborn old cow, and it is getting…

    1 educator answer

  • A White Heron

    What is the relationship between man and nature from Sylvia’s perspective in “A White Heron”?
    Sylvia imagines all the treasures that could be bought with the $10 offered by the ornithologist to whomever can show him the white heron. In the morning, she climbs the great pine tree, believing…

    2 educator answers

  • A White Heron

    What are 5 topics I could write about in the White Heron?
    “A White Heron” has many themes that could be interesting to address in an essay: 1. Role of the environment in the story: The author’s careful descriptions of the woods, trees, and marshes could…

    1 educator answer

  • A White Heron

    In the reading of “The White Heron,” are there any clues about what Sylvia may do?
    As is often typical of many narratives, there is foreshadowing in Sarah Orne Jewett’s “A White Heron.” Certainly, it is important for a reader to be attentive to details in the expositions of…

    1 educator answer

  • A White Heron

    In Sarah Orne Jewett’s short story, “A White Heron,” do you think Sylvia should have helped the…
    In Jewett’s “A White Heron,” there is no doubt in my mind that Sylvia’s decision to keep what she knows from the young man is a wise move, and it is believable because this is the kind of person…

    1 educator answer

  • A White Heron

    What is the reader led to believe Sylvia will do after the young man tries to persuade her to…
    Dear loyalty, that suffered a sharp pang as the guest went away disappointed later in the day that could have served and followed him and loved him as a dog loves! In her final paragraph,…

    1 educator answer

  • A White Heron

    What is the resolution to “A White Heron”?
    The resolution of “A White Heron” is that Sylvia decides not to tell the hunter about the bird, therefore protecting the bird but sacrificing her future happiness. Sylvia is a little girl who…

    1 educator answer

  • A White Heron

    What events lead up to the climax in “A White Heron” by Sarah Orne Jewett?
    The climax of the story is when Sylvia finds the white heron’s nest. It is the climax because she has to choose whether to tell the hunter or let the bird go. A climax is the turning point of a…

    1 educator answer

  • A White Heron

    What is the white heron’s secret in the short story “A White Heron”?
    The white heron’s secret is where his nest is hidden. The young man, who is an ornithologist, would like to shoot him and add his graceful figure to his collection. When Sylvia first discovered…

    1 educator answer

  • A White Heron

    what is the structure of the story “A White Heron” by Sarah Orne Jewett?
    The story is structured as a bildungsroman or rite of passage story. Sylvia is challenged by her feelings for the hunter to leave the world of innocence for that of experience. She has already…

    1 educator answer

  • A White Heron

    Compare the two main characters in “A White Heron” by Sarah Orne Jewett.
    Sarah Orne Jewett’s “A White Heron” portrays a segment of the life of a nine year old city girl who has come to stay with her grandmother in the country. The narrator explains that Sylvia has…

    1 educator answer

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A White Heron

A White Heron

  

by Sarah Orne Jewett

  • A White Heron /
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A White Heron Questions

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Bring on the tough stuff – there’s not just one right answer.

  1. Why do you think Sylvia never becomes comfortable in the city?
  2. Is the hunter a good guy? Why or why not?
  3. Is Mrs. Tilley happy with her current life? Why or why not?
  4. Would Sylvia’s life have been better if she had taken the hunter’s deal?
  5. What would you have done if you were in Sylvia’s shoes? Explain your answer.
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