Originally published in 1886, "A White Heron" is one of Sarah Orne Jewett's most well-known and most-anthologized stories. Like most of Jewett's fiction, "A White Heron" is set in the countryside on the coast of Maine. A narrator tells the story of a young girl walking through the woods, where she meets a stranger hunting for a unique bird for his collection. The young girl must decide if she will help the hunter find the elusive creature. "A White Heron" experienced a resurgence in popularity during the rise of feminist literary criticism for its portrayal of a strong female character.


Read our full plot summary of “A White Heron.”


See a complete list of the characters in “A White Heron” and in-depth analyses of Sylvia, the hunter, and Mrs. Tilley.

Literary Devices

Here's where you will find analysis of the key literary devices in “A White Heron”


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Deeper Study

Enhance your understanding of “A White Heron” by learning more about Sarah Orne Jewett and historical context for the story.