A White Heron Criticism

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In his 1962 Sarah Orne Jewett, the first book-length study devoted to the writer, Richard Cary identified Sylvia's rite of initiation as "an arduous journey of self-discovery and maturity." This theme of the rite of passage was explored by critics over the next three decades. Catherine B. Sherman read the story as a miniature Bildungsroman, a story of the development of a young person into adulthood, along the lines of Charles Dickens's David Copperfield. Kelley Griffith, Jr. took the theme one step further, and found in the story an echo of the archetypal myth of the hero. Sylvia, she wrote in the Colby Library Quarterly in 1985, "becomes a traditional hero who makes a quest after a much desired object." Elizabeth Ammons, also writing in the Colby Library Quarterly, compared the story's construction to that of a fairy tale.

Two issues have drawn the greatest attention from critics...

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This section contains 437 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the A White Heron Study Guide
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A White Heron from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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