Name________________________________ Period _____________
“A White Heron”
Directions: After reading the short story, answer the following questions in 3 – 4 complete sentences. Refer back to the story to help you answer the questions fully.
1) Look up the name Sylvia or the word sylvan in a dictionary. Why is Sylvia an appropriate name for this character?
2) What is Sylvia’s central conflict? At what point do you know how her conflict is resolved?
3) Several plants, birds, and animals are mentioned, most to describe setting. Some, however, are used to symbolize something else. What does the “wretched dry geranium” that belonged to Sylvia’s neighbor in the city symbolize? Consider how this plant is different then those in the woods.
4) Using your notes on how to determine if an object is symbolic, determine what the central symbol of this story is. Why do you believe this to be the most important symbol of the story, and what does it symbolize?
5) The story reveals a conflict between two settings and their different values. What different values are represented by Sylvia’s “green world” and town life? Cite passages from the story to support your answer.
6) Analyze the last paragraph. What has Sylvia lost? What has she preserved? Gained?
7) A hero, it is said, does what normal people are not brave enough or strong enough to do. Is Sylvia a hero? Why or why not?