The Witch of Blackbird Pond Overview

Elizabeth George Speare
This Study Guide consists of approximately 38 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Witch of Blackbird Pond.
This section contains 330 words
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The Witch of Blackbird Pond Summary & Study Guide Description

The Witch of Blackbird Pond Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Further Study and a Free Quiz on The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare.

In The Witch of Blackbird Pond, Speare creates strong and memorable fictional characters who interact with actual historical personages. The result is a vivid portrait of life in Puritan New England. Kit Tyler, a rebellious orphan who has grown up in Barbados, moves to Connecticut and is soon exposed to the restrictive rules of Puritan society. In her new home, she frequently finds herself in conflict with her Uncle Matthew. These domestic confrontations point up some of her conflicts with Puritan society at large, for Kit is temperamentally unsuited to following other people's rules. To survive she must curb her impulsiveness, and when she cannot she suffers "helpless rage." Kit's difficulties in adjusting to her new surround ings culminate in her being tried on the principal scene of the action, is several charge of witchcraft.miles south of Hartford, Connecticut, near the banks of the Connecticut River. Historically, this is the time of the Setting witch trials in Salem, Massachusetts.

The opening chapter introduces the The events of the tale begin in April cultural contrasts between the warm, 1687 and continue through the friendly island life of Barbados and the following spring. Wethersfield, the cold Puritan society of Connecticut, where religion rules everything from parties and husking bees to courting.

Kit sees constant reminders—"a pillory, a whipping post and stocks"—of the oppressiveness of Puritan New England.

She must put away her colorful dresses brought from Barbados and wear the drab colors that are standard in Wethersfield. Before coming to America, she swam in the warm Caribbean waters; now she finds that swimming in New England is suspect and that the waters are as chilling as the society.

Young people, Kit discovers, are to be seen and not heard in Puritan society, which is based on the premise that punishments are given in this world, rewards in the next world. The New England setting contrasts with Kit's former life and immediately introduces conflict into the story.

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This section contains 330 words
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