Different Nature Views Essay

1040 words - 5 pages

The cold air is relentless and the fire can only do so much to keep a person safe in the elements, but this isn’t always the case in stories. The short story, The Outcasts of Poker Flat, written by Bret Harte entails the life changing experiences that “outcasts” have to endure in horrible weather that becomes inevitable. Albeit this story deals with the unpleasant side of nature, the short story, A White Heron, by Sarah Orne Jewett illustrates the exact opposite. Rather, nature becomes Sylvie’s one true love. The juxtaposing ideas of nature in these two short stories still manage to make the characters make extremely critical life decisions. The short stories A White Heron, by Sarah Orne Jewett and The Outcasts of Poker Flat, by Bret Harte, have key aspects that make themselves coincide and contrast with each other and assist the characters make difficult decisions mainly through the settings in which they are placed; the season that the story occurs in, and the situations in which the characters have to tackle.
To begin with, these Realism short stories rely a lot on the area that they take place in. A White Heron takes place at a farm in the upper part of Maine; a different atmosphere from which Sylvie was born in, the city. Although it’s a different setting for her Sylvie becomes one with nature instantly. The woods and the life within it make her feel so welcomed and at home. Sylvie sees A White Heron as such an innocent creature. “She could not tell the heron’s secret and give its life away.” (Jewett 6) In this quote it explains how Sylvie respected the heron and wanted to protect it. On the other hand, The Outcasts of Poker Flat took place in the Sierra Mountains. The Sierra Mountains weather can change drastically; from being extremely cold, to extremely hot. “It was distant a day’s severe travel. In that hills into the dry, cold, bracing air of the Sierras.” (Harte 2) This reference to the story describes the cruel conditions of the road that the “outcasts” must take to get to their destination, Sandy Bar. The description of the grueling road helps show their dislike for nature. As well as location being an influence in the two views of nature, the season in which the story takes place can also have an effect.
The season in which the story is set can have a fundamental role in the view of nature. “The woods were already filled with shadows one June evening, just before eight o’ clock, though the sunset still glimmered faintly among the trunks of trees.” (Jewett 1) This quote from A White Heron tells the audience that the story takes place during the summer; precisely in June. Summer tends to result in better weather conditions, and more liveliness among animals. The season being summer for Sylvie, gives her the opportunity to roam the forest and let the beauty of nature to sink in. Whereas in the other story, the season just so happens to be winter. Therefore, not only...

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