A New England Nun vs a White Heron

A New England Nun vs a White Heron

  • Submitted By: jezziestar
  • Date Submitted: 02/18/2009 6:39 AM
  • Category: English
  • Words: 982
  • Page: 4
  • Views: 999

A New England Nun vs. A White Heron

Both Mary Wilkins Freeman and Sarah Orne Jewett present their characters with a realistic, down to earth feel that is easy for the reader to identify with. Although you personally may not have walked in their shoes or shared common experiences, they are easy to empathize with and image yourself as one of the characters. Although the characters are written in the realistic style, each story has a romantic plot. The storyline and themes within are centered on the protagonist’s feelings and choices she is forced to make which impact her life and relationships.

Louisa Ellis, the protagonist in “A New England Nun”, is a middle aged woman who lives alone with great contentment amidst her daily routines of sewing and quilting. She takes great joy in consuming her meals on fine china over a linen tablecloth. Louisa “could not remember that ever in her life she had mislaid one of these little feminine appurtenances, which had become, from long use and constant association, a very part of her personality” (445). After fourteen years of this familiar, peaceful existence, Louisa finds her serenity threatened by the return of her betrothed, Joe Dagget. Louisa discovers that she finds the prospect of their impending union to be disturbing, since it will inevitably upset of her orderly life. She realizes that during their time apart, her “feet had turned into a path, smooth maybe under a calm, serene sky, but so straight and unswerving that it could only meet a check at her grave, and so narrow that there was no room for any one at her side” (448). Joe Dagget, our story’s antagonist, is a kind man, who holds strong to his long standing commitment to marry Louisa. Joe and Louisa do not relate well to one another, or even understand one another. After a particularly strained visit, Joe felt “as an innocent and perfectly well-intentioned bear might after his exit from a china shop” (447). In spite of this lack of connection,...

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