The Man Who Was Almost A Man Analysis

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“A White Heron” by Sarah Orne Jewett and “The Man Who Was Almost a Man” by Richard Wright are very similar stories. They are both initiation stories about decision-making told from a female point of view and a male point of view. “A White Heron” Sylvia a young girl who lives with her grandmother, Mrs. Tilley, has a very routine life. She actually says that her daily job of walking the cow to and from the pasture is so familiar that she can do it in the dark without any light guiding her feet. Her ritualistic life is shook up when she runs into a handsome young man who is hunting for birds. The unnamed man states that he is looking for the nest of the white heron and would give ten dollars to anyone who could show it to him. Desperate for…show more content…
Dave wanted nothing more than to be a “man” in everyone’s eyes, but he misunderstood that the only way he could become a man was by coming of age and maturity, and building character through struggles and faults. Sylvia on the other hand matures in a split second at the site of the gorgeous heron. She discovers in herself an emotion that she has never had before, and wants to keep safe; so, she ends up not telling the hunter where the bird is, because she feels that this feeling has no monetary price on it. Guns represent things like power and manhood in Dave’s case, but in Sylvia’s case it represents change and an end-all to her beautiful new world of emotions. In my opinion Nature is like their escape from the worlds. In Sylvia’s case she finds bliss and happiness in nature, but in Dave’s case it is just used for egocentric reasons; he is not one with nature like Sylvia is. Money like in all stories is a portrayed as a means for living. Sylvia needed it because she was broke, and Dave needed it to buy his “manhood”. Finally both stories illustrate just how different our gender-based worlds are. In a “man’s world” we always want power and to become superior to each other; in a “woman’s world” they always want serenity and peace with themselves be it through nature or some other

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