Sylvias Coming of Age in

The initiation process is a success because Sylvia remains true to her beliefs. She is pulled in two directions and is forced to make a decision. She can do as her grandmother wishes and reveal the secret for a price, which she does not want to do or keep the secret. We read that she “does not speak after all, though the old grandmother fretfully rebukes her, and the young mans kind, appealing eyes are looking straight in her own” (10). She learns early at the age of nine the conflict that results when one must decide between ones own convictions and the desires of others.

Because she listened to her gut, she will not feel as though she sold out for money and though she might not realize this for years to come, she made the right decision.

Works Cited

Sarah Orne Jewett. “A White Heron.” A White Heron and Other Stories. Whitefish:.


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