? I decided to write my motif explanationon A White Heron. In this short story, birds are a recurring motif I willexplain the significance of the birds and the white heron as it pertains to thestory. The first birds mentioned are robins.
Robins are symbolic of rebirth orthe beginning of new ideas the story mentions them as a being the product of acats labor, fat with young robins. It makes sense to me that their meaning inthe story is Sylvia’s new life in the country. Geese are the next birdsmentioned in the story, Geese are symbolic of a happy-go-lucky attitude towardslife.
In the story the grandmother exhibits this attitude. The grandmothergladly accepted the handsome young man into her home, “I’ll milk right off, andyou make yourself at home.” Hens crop up as the next birds mentioned. Hens aresymbolic of fertility and being like a mother figure to someone. Partridges arementioned next in the story and symbolize morning and extreme sadness. Thegrandmother in the story had lost her children and was in mourning as can beseen in this piece of story “The hostess gossiped frankly, adding presentlythat she had buried four children.
” Blue Jays were mentioned next and symbolizeadaptability and development of an innate talent and force. I think this can beseen in the line, “There ain’t a foot o’ ground she don’t know her way over.” Ifeel like it tells the reader that Sylvia adapted to country life and has cometo master the territory. Crows are mentioned next symbolize mysticism and the “otherworld.” The mysticism of crows can be seen in this part of the story, “Dan, myboy, was a great hand to go gunning.” The grandmother is holding onto the ideathat Dan is waiting for her in anotherworld.
Lastly the white heron represents the companionship of the naturalworld, as well the fluctuations we see in Sylvia’s perspective on the heronrepresent shifts in her value of nature!