The Heroine in A White Heron A White Heron was a beautiful story of the battles within a little girl in her formative years in life. The story has a deeper meaning though, expressed in the involvement of much symbolic representation. The author, Sarah Orne Jewett, paints a vivid and descriptive image of the young heroine and her surroundings in the story. I will try to primarily focus on the symbolism and representation in the story. I will also mention the subtle references the artist made to the biggest struggle in a young persons life- self-identification. Sarah Jewett seemed to start the story off to a slow monotone feel.
I was given the impression the story was meant to be basic in order to appeal to the senses and understanding of the very young. The story quickly fell into a descriptive and vivacious narrative of the young girls experiences or lack thereof. Jewett's quick changing of style (when referring to tone) is beneficial because she is able to retain more readers attention. The diction in the story was very colloquial. Sylvia, (the young heroine in the story), has a grandmother who uses speech as if somewhat uneducated and farm-raised. The grandmother uses terms like, "folks" and "cage 'em up", to express herself.
These phrases and others like them gave a good understanding to the type of people and place the story was set in. This showed how much diction and speech alone establishes much of the story base within itself. Much of the story was given to personification of nature. Nature being so close and dear to her was primarily expressed in her affection for the cow and the birds.
The author practically made the large tree in the story come alive. One statement says", ... 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" (SOJ pg. 436). The description and life she brings to the story makes the narrative very interesting and readable. The next chapter in the story becomes very fluid and poetic. One prose states, "Half a mile from home, at the farthest edge of the woods, where the land was highest, a great pine tree stood... ".
(SOJ pg. 435). As the story begins to smooth out, it enters into a spirit of representation. A man who wishes to dominate and destroy all that Sylvia holds dear, enters her life as a desired lover. The romantic prose and ideas in the story illustrate even better what the author is feeling about the "gray-eyed child". One verse states, "The woman's heart, asleep in the child, was vaguely thrilled by the dream of love" (SOJ pg. 435).
The author entangles beauty in the midst of a great amount of information to the creative mind. You can see how this young lady had to wrestle within herself to embrace either the young man's attention, or nature's love. A classic story of identity crisis wrapped in a cloak of beautiful writing and semi-poetic prose.