Conflicts In "A White Heron" Essay

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“A White Heron” by author Sarah Orne Jewett involves numerous conflicts. Characters face dilemmas with themselves, others and nature. The two main conflicts in the short story are character v. self and character v. nature. Jewett shows how everyday decisions can shape a person, and the conflicts involved in everyday life through her short story “A White Heron”.
The main conflict in Jewett’s short story is that of character v. self. The author chooses to portray this conflict which also leads into the next conflict. The main character struggles with what she believes is right and what others believe is right. Her decision is ultimately chosen and leads to a higher self esteem yet grief for letting others down. She chooses to listen to her instinct and her morals by saving a bird which others wish to find. The white heron which is a rare bird can be seen as a symbol for nature. Her decision to protect it symbolizes her decision to protect nature. This action is also a symbol of coming to age and gaining her own views and beliefs. In a way the author provides a coming of age theme through this short story. Jewett   changes the main character from immature and wanting to please others to pleasing herself and ultimately becoming her own person. The action of simply wishing to please others is seen and the beginning of the plot. “What a spirit of adventure, what wild ambition! What fancied triumph and delight and glory for the later morning when she could make known the secret! It was almost too great for the childish heart to bear.” (Orne 627) Her desire to make the secret known is proof of her desire to please the hunter and be seen as helpful. This quote demonstrates none of her own desires or even her thoughts on the subject. Her views later change when she ultimately does not reveal the secret location but listens to her heart. Her decision to save the bird brings upon the next conflict in the story which is that of character v. nature.
The author introduces the...

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  • Submitted by:
  • on April 4, 2012
  • Category: English
  • Length: 590 words
  • Views: 886
  • Popularity Rank: 24524
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