Study Guide

A White Heron Choices

By Sarah Orne Jewett

Choices

It doesn't matter if you're Sara Bareilles or Ash Ketchum—it can be hard to make the right choice. Take the case of Sylvia in "A White Heron," for example. This young nature-lover is given a tough choice between protecting the life of a rare white heron and selling it out to a young hunter looking for a new "piece" for his collection. Although it's difficult, Sylvia learns that we must live with our decisions whether we like them or not—or some mix of the two, as the case may be.

Questions About Choices

  1. In your eyes, does Sylvia make the right choice? Why or why not?
  2. Do you think Mrs. Tilley would have accepted the hunter's offer if she knew where the heron was?
  3. How might the ten dollars have changed Sylvia and her grandmother's lives?
  4. Why does Sylvia make the choice that she does?

Chew on This

Ultimately, Sylvia makes the right choice based on her beliefs—to do otherwise would have been hypocritical.

Although Sylvia chooses to protect the heron, the story seems to indicate that Mrs. Tilley would have made a different decision if it were up to her.

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