A White Heron Essay

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In the following excerpt, Griffith examines some ways in which the character Sylvia from Jewett's "A White Heron" fits the archetype of a hero, with attention paid especially to the conflict of "man versus society."

"But what shall I do with my 'White Heron' now she is written? She isn't a very good magazine story, but I love her, and mean to keep her for the beginning of my next book." ( Letters of Sarah Orne Jewett, ed. Annie Fields 1911, p. 60)

When Sarah Orne Jewett wrote these words to a friend, the Atlantic Monthly had rejected her story "A White Heron," and she was puzzled about its artistic merit. But after it appeared in a collection of her stories in 1886, it immediately attracted compliments from friends and fellow writers. Since then, it has become her most anthologized and best known story. I feel that the key to both...

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This section contains 2,212 words
(approx. 6 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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