Jewett’s short story, “A White Heron” provides one main loophole surrounding the character Sylvia. Her ability as a young girl to befriend a stranger is very bold, but at the same time, very welcoming. Sylvia approach by the stranger leaves her with one struggling question, should she give up the white heron and gain the stranger’s money and friendship? Or should she let the white heron go? Significantly, the question that is presented to the nine year old Sylvia becomes a question of her loophole. This would be her chance to determine her way of escaping some aspect of her; her way of letting go something.
It is Sylvia’s silence that ultimately becomes her loophole. The story goes on to explain, “But Sylvia does not speak after all, though the old grandmother fretfully rebukes her, and the young man’s kind, appealing eyes are looking straight in her own. He can make them rich with money; he has promised it, and they are poor now. He is so well worth making happy, and he waits to hear the story she can tell,” in order to say that Sylvia is in charge of her own life. She has a life changing opportunity to tell the stranger where the white heron is, but it is her silence that ultimately becomes golden. She keeps in silence because her conscience that allows her to ponder about the end result of the situation.
Sylvia’s silence is what makes her escape because the stranger eventually leaves empty handed and the white heron remains. She is just nine years old and having to put in a position of an adult in many ways throughout the story, especially in the decision she made. Therefore, her silence allows her to remain a youth in the end of the story. Instead of using words, she uses her mind, which could be the way she finds that loophole to escape from the things around her and the things she’s seen. Ultimately, Sylvia remains Sylvia, meaning she doesn’t evolve into a different person because of her choices.