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A White Heron Literary Analysis

Decent Essays
Countless stories of various heroes and heroines have all followed the same cycle from the beginning to the conclusion of a hero’s life. The cycle begins from an event affecting the hero’s life leading them on a quest that is typically filled with some form of adventure. The hero is equipped for the quest with a type of power or aid from the supernatural to support them against trials. Typically, the trials are used to prove a hero’s worth and even bring a change of behavior within the character. A difficult sacrifice is then made by the hero as they near the end of their journey, and will come to experience either physical or metaphorical death, to which they are rewarded significantly. The short literature titled “A White Heron,” written by Sarah Orne Jewett, fits the hero archetype by the main character experiencing a sudden adventure full of trials to the reward of the quest’s completion.
Within the story, “A White Heron,” the reader is first introduced to the young main character, Sylvia, whose everyday life is interrupted by an unexpected event. As Sylvia is leading her cow home through the forest, she hears an unusual whistle. Her curiosity leads her to meeting a seemingly lost, yet handsome man she had never seen before. Sylvia learns that the man is a hunter, and especially has a passion for hunting birds. The hunter claims he is specifically looking for a white heron and he is willing to give Sylvia and her grandmother 10 dollars if she finds its nest for him.
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