How can you tell that Goodwife Cruff is eager to see Kit suffer in The Witch of Blackbird Pond?

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gsnitch eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The constable feels badly for Kit. He brings her supper and a heavy quilt to keep her warm. We can tell that he feels uneasy about Kit staying in his shed overnight. He tries, unsuccessfully, to console her by saying that the townsfolk probably would not be too hard on her, “Being you’re so young and the first offense.” The constable’s wife visits in the morning to give Kit a hearty breakfast and expresses sympathy and brings her a basin of water and a comb to help clean herself up so she doesn’t look like a witch. We know the constable and his wife feel badly for Kit by the wife’s statement:

“My man and I, we don’t relish this work much. We’ll be glad when his term is up.”

Reverend Bulkely asks for restraint when considering the accusations during the hearing. He notes that "the unnatural events so far recounted appear to rest in each case upon the word of but one witness."

Adam Cruff does not speak at the trial until he is forced to by Goodwife Cruff “vehemently prodding her husband.” When he does speak, he shows the court the book with Prudence’s name written on it and notes that it is strange, but does not accuse Kit of witchcraft openly.

In contrast to this is Goodwife Cruff’s behavior. She vindictively accuses Kit of witchcraft in spite of the evidence against her claims. When Prudence comes forward to defend Kit and begins reading from the Bible, Goodwife Cruff claims that Prudence is bewitched. She screams, “I’ll see that girl hung!” When all is lost and the charges have been dropped by Adam Cruff, Goodwife Cruff channels her anger to Nat.

“That man!” she shrilled. “Isn’t he the seaman? The one who was banished for setting fire to houses? Thirty lashes they promised him if he showed his face here again!”

If Goodwife Cruff can’t make Kit suffer by hanging, she will try to cause pain by torturing the man who came to Kit’s rescue.

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The Witch of Blackbird Pond

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