About what do Reverend Bulkeley and Matthew argue in chapter 6?

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teachsuccess | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Chapter Six sees the Wood family having the Reverend Gershom Bulkely over to dinner. Kit muses that the family took the better part of four days to prepare the feast for the preacher.

The conversation begins with talk about Kit's father, Sir Francis Tyler. Bulkely questions Kit as to her father's allegiance to King James. She answers that both she and her father have always been loyal subjects to the king and wonders why the preacher would ask her such a strange question. Bulkely demures; his answer implies that he cannot presume everyone professes the same allegiances. He counsels Kit to hold steadfast her allegiance to the king.

At this, Matthew Wood pushes his chair back angrily and demands to know what Bulkely is insinuating about the family's allegiance to the king. He asserts that Kit is in no danger of losing her allegiance to the king while living in the Wood household. The preacher tries to sooth the furious Matthew, but Matthew will have none of it. He exclaims that he is a selectman in the town and that he's not a traitor.

Bulkely claims that he never tried to imply such a thing. He does, however, think that Matthew is misguided in his views about freedom. Matthew is incensed at the preacher's mischaracterization. He vows that he will never accept the new governor the king has seen fit to impose upon them all; this is because Matthew feels that the cause of freedom is more important than some misguided allegiance to the king. He wants the rights they have fought for to be preserved, as promised in the charter. Bulkely asserts that Massachusetts has already accepted the new governor, but Matthew barks that Connecticut will never accept such an encroachment on their freedoms.

By this time, Bulkely angrily proclaims that Matthew's intransigence will lead to bloodshed and revolution. The preacher asserts that war is an evil thing; he knows this because he was a medic in the Indian conflicts. The argument between Bulkely and Matthew is about the divine right of kings to rule. While Bulkely supports the king's right to rule as he sees fit, Matthew is more concerned about individual rights.

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