An Analysis Of Literary Techniques Used In A White Heron

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade September 2001

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In this excerpt, from A White Heron, by Sarah Orne Jewett, a number of literary techniques were used. All of them contributing to the excerpt's excellent flow. This essay will focus on three literary techniques Jewett used "" imagery, tone, and symbolism.

Imagery is an important literary device which, when used well, can enable an author to convey powerful and persuasive themes. Imagery can also be used to convey the mood of a book in ways that straightforward, factual descriptions never could. Jewett's use of imagery is incredibly effective. She uses imagery to convey Sylvia's surroundings and emotions to the reader. The following passage is a good example of how Jewett uses imagery: "Sylvia's face was like a pale star, if one had seen it from the ground, when the last thorny bough was past, and she stood trembling and tired...(Line 55-57)." These lengthy and intricate sentences are filled with detail.

This allows the reader to create a very detailed image in his/her mind of what is occurring in the excerpt. Nevertheless, Jewett still uses many short telegraphic sentences to focus the reader's attention to what is happening at that moment. In Line 10 and Line 27 Jewett writes, "Sylvia knew it well,"� and "Sylvia felt her way easily."� Both of these sentences are very "to the point"� telegraphic sentences. Even though they are telegraphic it does not detract from their importance "" it adds to it.

Tone is an important aspect of literary style. It emphasizes the characters' dilemmas, as well as contributing to the reader's willingness to be captured and carried away by the author's style. A skillful author uses tone to convince the reader of the truth of his or her themes. The tone of "A White Heron" is best characterized as a...



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