Although the story "A White Heron" has a limited amount of characters, the author Sarah Orne Jewett was able to capture and bring about each characters distinguishing personalities. Their different, but moral strengths and weaknesses the gives the reader a clear understanding of the mediocrity, fear, and loyalty that the story is trying to portray in one little girl. Sylvia was nine when she came to live with Mrs. Tilley in the abyss of the New England wilderness. She was a young and immature, filled with anxiety, and the loneliness one feels being so small in a large, crowded manufacturing town. So when Mrs. Tilley chose her, she was delighted to go off to a place where she wasn't so overwhelmed by the large world. Sylvia was a simple person, who wanted simple surroundings, and a meager life with god's natural beauty. One of her daily and amusing tasks was to retrieve Mrs. Tilley's cow that would wander threw the forest, and always seem to find her self hiding in the huckleberry bushes waiting to be discovered by Sylvia. She did not mind the stuberness of the cow, sometimes it would take her until after dark to find her but, she thought of the ordeal as a game of hiding go seek in which the cow was a playmate or a companion.
Sylvia experienced joy in other ways as well, she loved to observe nature and all of it's wild creatures. When she was climbing the large branches of the oak to try to reach the top in hope of catching a glance at a white heron, she was moved. "At last the sun came up bewildering bright. Sylvia could see the white sails of ships out at sea, and the clouds that were purple and rose-colored and yellow at the first began to fade away." (p. 437)