Nature vs Man “A White Heron” is a short story about a nine-year-old girl named Sylvia who moves from city life to her grandmother’s house in the nature. “A White Heron “ is a great example of the conflict between man and nature. But not just that of course, also so many important ideas are seen in this environmentalist short story. The environmentalist idea is the theory that environment has the primary influence on the development of a person. It also includes romantic ideas of nature, individualism and realism. The story shares Romantic ideals, the importance of nature and the individual, yet its style, use of details, realistic settings, and realistic people exemplifies Realism. Being in the city life is just like being in prison for her. She thinks she can find herself better in nature. She thinks of the animals not just as another being but also as friends. Sylvia is in charge of milking a cow in her grandmother’s house. It’s no coincidence that Sylvia, the grandmother, and the cow are all females living in the natural life. From the beginning, we can tell there is a feminism in the story. One day while she walks the cow back, she hears a whistle belongs to a man. He tells her about how much he loves the birds. This common thing about birds effects her. But he has a gun which she does not like. She learns that he is a hunter. Right here the female happiness gets interrupted by the male hunter. We can call this female and male issue as the gender issue. He is searching for rare birds to kill and stuff. He offers ten dollars to Sylvia if she can help him find this rare bird called white heron. Why is the bird white colored? The color of the heron represents the purity. Sylvia starts thinking about how many things she can do with this money. At the same time, she likes the charming hunter. The hunter symbolizes the civilization and the technology which is an important detail for romanticism. She admires him because of his sympathy, but she does not understand why he kills the birds he says he loves. Sylvia knows a lot about birds and other animals. One morning she wakes up early to go look for the bird. She climbs to this old pine tree which happens to be the tallest one in the forest. Her goal is to locate the white heron. And she achieves to find the bird. Then she goes back home and tries to sleep but she can not. So she goes back to climb again. Although it is hard for her to climb the tree, she thinks that the old pine tree is helping her. When she starts to get tired, she reaches the top of the tree. She can see the whole beauty of the countryside. It is indescribable beautiful for her. And then all of a sudden, she spots the white heron that she has been looking for which makes her moment fulfill with excitement from deep inside of her heart. She even wants to be a bird like the ones she looks at and fly in the free clouds. When she climbs down the tree, she starts thinking to herself how she is going to tell him. Maybe she feels like she will be cheating on nature which has been supporting her in every aspect of her life. But at the same time what he offers can make her rich in the material world. She can not help questioning herself. Money charm and other material figures put her in dilemma. The main conflict of the story focuses on Sylvia’s internal battle of whether or not to tell the location of this rare bird. But she remembers the moment she saw the white heron and how amazing feelings she had on the top of the tree. The tree in the forest that Sylvia climbs is an important figure actually because she can see everything more clear on the top of it. It is like even if you could see everything, sometimes you still want to put on your glasses and it makes you see more clear. She finally decides not to tell him the location of this rare bird. After the hunter leaves, Sylvia feels like she keeps hearing the hunter’s whistle. Sylvia is a hero and a hero does what normal people are not brave enough or strong enough to do. Most of us would have taken the ten dollars not just because it is money but also we would want to be closer to him emotionally. This is her heroism. As we can understand from the story, she is like the child of nature whereas the hunter guy is sent from the civilization. Sylvia goes through so many emotions and expriences in the story. She takes lessons from her expriences and actually she proves us how important a bird can be. I believe that Jewett uses Sylvia in the story to show us the importance of protecting nature and not giving up on nature for the material things in life that we think satisfy us. Yes, of course the materials of civilization makes us happy but only for a moment and it does not worth damaging nature. In addition she brings the idea that the money cannot buy anybody’s freedom, or that money cannot buy friendship, even if it is between a little girl and a bird. And the story ends with the achievement of nature over man and the achievement of female over the male. The Mother Nature never loses !