White Heron Sarah Orne Jewett Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

The hunter is kind to her but is not considerate of her feelings and is only thinking of his own desire to find the heron. He tries to use the appeal of money to achieve his purpose as he knows that both Sylvia and her grandmother would find it very useful and Sylvia thinks that "no amount of thought that night could decide how many wished-for treasures the ten dollars, so lightly spoken of, would buy"(Jewett). The conflict is clear in "she could not understand why he killed the very birds he seemed to like so much"(Jewett) Sylvia is seen to become aware that the only thing that the man wanted from her was the achievement of his goal of finding the heron and he was not going to consider that she loved the animals and birds and she understands that he is not a kind man. Her independence is established when she does not disclose the location of the heron's nest after she climbs the pine and although she feels that she is losing something she does not give in to being a slave to him and does not wish to "have served and followed him and loved him as a dog loves"(Jewett). Sylvia's conflict is clear in "and now, when the great world for the first time puts out a hand to her, must she thrust it aside for a bird's sake?" (Jewett).

Sylvia is not symbolically avoiding sexual maturity but avoiding becoming subservient to a man whom she does like but feels has not the same values as her and is only being considerate because of his need to achieve something that he believes she can give him. She is not remaining a little girl but rather growing up and maturing so that she knows that the material things are going to provide only a temporary satisfaction but her individuality will be compromised by becoming the hunter's friend and losing her real friends.

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