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A White Heron

***** Heron - Sarah Orne Jewett

This is a story with sever*****l important themes, and one of them is pastoral innocence coming into contact and ***** conflict with the loss of ***** in a modern, *****dustrial world. The tone, conflict and character development in this story follows along the lines ***** what is known as American literary real*****m; indeed, realism is evident in a story when character ***** more critical to ***** story than plot or the actual action. Realism is a strategy ***** which ethical choices are at hand, the story line ***** plausible, and humans are placed in natural ***** settings.

In A White Heron, those elements are very much present. This is a story in ***** ***** character of th***** innocent girl is more ***** to *****e reader than the precise steps that are taken in ***** plot. This is a ***** *****triguing and original tale about the innocence of a girl who seems ***** like the creatures of the natural world than she seems ***** young people her own age. The ***** embraces the changes ***** challenges facing a young ***** ***** she ***** confronted with a potenti*****l loss of innocence.

Indeed, nine*****year old Sylvia is the central character, the protagonist; she is a working class girl but *****s don't know exactly what city she lives near but it ***** in New England, near a m*****nufactur*****g center. This c*****y near where ***** is living ***** an industrially focused metropolis, and the shy Sylvia has somehow grown "afraid of folks" (598, Norton *****nthology of American Literature), which when one thinks about it is not that unusual for a girl who "...feels *****s if she were a p*****rt of the gray shadows and moving leaves..."

Sylvia has been adopted by her grandmot*****, a widow, ********** lives in a tiny house in the middle of a wooded *****rea. What readers know about Sylvia right away is that ***** loves this natural ***** setting and is ***** involved in any apparent stress or pressure. That wooded w*****ld ***** she daily has to hunt down her dairy cow is someth*****g of a met*****phor for a pastoral place beyond the boundary of the real ***** ugly world.

Jewett wr*****es (page 597, Norton) that Sylvia "...***** all ***** time t*****e was, and very little use to make of it." And so with all that time on her h*****s, it's reas*****able to expect an alert yet shy young girl ***** no playmates to become fascinated with birds and animals in the forest. Sylvia's grandmo*****r mentioned ***** Sylvia had a kn*****ck ***** "...straying about out-of-doors" and grandma also believed that the "...***** ***** counts her one o' themselves" (599).

This child could be considered a metaphor for in*****cence in the genre of realism. She could well be thought of as a symbol of what the ***** was like before industrialization, before wars, greed, lust for power and control of nature, and before the invention of weapons that kill. Her heart "beat fast


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