"A White Heron- by Sarah Orne Jewett, is a short story about a young girl's conflict between her love for nature and her desire to be liked by a handsome hunter. Sylvia, who grew up in town, goes to live with her grandmother in the woods. There she meets a young hunter, who is also an ornithologist, whom she soon begins to greatly admire, but is troubled by the fact that he shoots the very birds that she loves. From her experiences with the hunter, Sylvia learns a few things about growing up and making mature decisions. Because Sylvia has a close relationship with nature ¸ she chooses not to follow her heart when nature might be harmed.
Sylvia establishes a close relationship with nature when she moves in with her grandmother. A crowded manufacturing town was no place for Sylvia to grow up: -as for Sylvia herself, it seemed as if she had never been alive at all before she came to live at the farm- (326). Sylvia feels as though she belongs in the woods. She loves and respects nature as she wanders about, exploring her beautiful world. Since Sylvia is so shy she felt very out of place living in town: " Afraid of Folks', they said! I guess she won't be troubled no great with em up to the old place- (326). Sylvia likes her new peaceful home at the farm, much better than her old noisy town life.
When the hunter comes into Sylvia's life, she begins to grow as a young woman who dreams of love. As Sylvia spends more time with the young man, her admiration for him grows: "She had never seen anybody so charming and delightful - (329). Sylvia very much enjoys her day in the woods with the young hunter, except when he shoots down innocent birds: "Sylvia would have liked him vastly better without his gun.""(329). Sylvia's feelings for her new acquaintance have brought a conflict to her heart, which she will not soon forget. .