A White Heron Essay

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Atkinson is Associate Professor of English at the University of Cincinnati. In the following excerpt, he offers his interpretation of the favorable impact varying narrative voices have on the conclusion of Jewett's "A White Heron."

"A White Heron" seems a simple story of simple people, in a simple time. Seems. But if we look more closely, we see that Jewett has used diverse and unusual devices to give this much anthologized story the satisfying impact which puts us so at rest at its conclusion. In the next to last scene, for example, she uses authorial voice and privilege in genuinely extravagant ways: a tree's thoughts are reported and given weight, and the author not only urgently whispers counsel to the main character but later exhorts the very landscape and seasons of the year in pantheistic prayer. But these departures from "common sense" seem perfectly natural to us...

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This section contains 1,360 words
(approx. 4 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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