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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They drove the cow home together. When Sylvia climbs the tree as a bird might, she arrives at an epiphany at the tree’s top. She could not understand why he killed the birds he seemed to like so much. He listened eagerly to the old woman’s quaint talk, he watched Sylvia’s pale face and shining gray eyes with ever growing enthusiasm, and insisted that this was the best supper he had eaten for a month, and afterward the new-made friends sat down in the door-way together while the moon came up.

The little white heronit is,” and he turned again to look at Sylvia with the hope of discovering that the rare bird was one of her acquaintances.

The tree seemed to lengthen itself out as she went up, and to reach farther and farther upward. Now Sylvie, get a plate for the gentleman! 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.

“A White Heron” By: Sarah Orne Jewett by Madeline H. on Prezi

Sylvie felt as if she could go flying among the clouds, too. This site uses cookies. Howells thinks that this age frowns upon the romantic, that it is no use to write romance any more; but dear me, how much of it there is left in every-day life after all. You can sleep on husks or feathers,” she proffered graciously. When they reached her, the stranger put down his gun and explained his problem to Sylvie’s smiling grandmother.


So Sylvia had to hunt for her until she found her, and call Co’! The air was soft and sweet. Modern Language Association http: Now look down again, Sylvia, where the green marsh is set among the shining birches and dark hemlocks; there where you saw the white heron once you will see him again; look, look! The young man stood his gun beside the door, and dropped a lumpy game-bag beside it; then he bade Mrs.

Maybe she can help me then,” the young man said. She had always believed that whoever climbed to the top of it could see the ocean; and the little girl had often laid her hand on the great rough trunk and looked up wistfully at those dark boughs that the wind always stirred, no matter how hot and still the air might be below. More than all the hawks, and bats, and moths, and even the sweet voiced thrushes, was the brave, beating heart of the solitary gray-eyed child.

Symbolically, of course, the birds represent Sylvia and the hunter the controlling nature of patriarchy. Where was the white heron’s nest in the sea of green branches, and was this wonderful sight and pageant of the world the only reward for having climbed to such a giddy height?

What a spirit of adventure, what wild ambition! The young sportsman and his old hostess were sound asleep, but Sylvia’s great design kept her broad awake and watching. 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.

The pine tree’s sticky sap made her fingers feel stiff and clumsy as she climbed higher and higher. She had often climbed there, and knew that higher still one of the oak’s upper branches chafed against the pine trunk, just where its lower boughs were set close together.

Tilley good-evening, and repeated his wayfarer’s whiite, and asked if he could have a night’s lodging. Indeed, critics have found much to discuss in this ostensibly simple story.


The author states that the treasures Sylvia might have lost are easily forgotten among the splendors of the woodland.

Print this article Print all entries for this topic Cite this article. A little girl was driving home her cow, a plodding, dilatory, provoking creature in her behavior, but a valued companion for whjte that. But who could have foreseen such an accident as this? It was already 8 o’clock and Sylvie wondered if her grandmother would be angry with her for being so late.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: All day long he did not make her troubled or afraid except when he brought down some unsuspecting singing creature from its bough. Sylvia climbs an old landmark pine tree, sees the sun rise, catches a glimpse of the great world beyond the woods, and finds beron heron and its mate.

But the stately head of this old pine towered above them all and made a landmark for sea and shore miles and miles away.

The way was harder than she thought; she must reach far and hold fast, the sharp dry twigs caught and held her and scratched her like angry talons, the pitch made her thin little fingers clumsy and stiff as she went round and round the tree’s great stem, higher and higher upward. Start the Quiz to find out Start Quiz. She accompanies the man as he walks through the woods in search of birds, which he kills.

A White Heron

The old pine must have loved his new dependent. Sylvia grows up to ponder if her choice to conceal the heron’s secret was a better choice than to receive the young man’s money and friendship.

She was quite ready to be milked now, and seldom stopped to browse.