illustration of a woman in a black dress with long black hair swimming down through the water toward a smaller human figure

The Witch of Blackbird Pond

by Elizabeth George Speare

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How does Hannah help Kit find a place?

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As an orphan, Kit feels all alone in the world. To make matters worse, she's ended up in a strange place full of strange people—Connecticut—that she doesn't know all that much about. Unsurprisingly, in such an environment, it becomes rather difficult for Kit to form any kind of emotional attachment to anyone.

Hannah Tupper's in much the same boat. Hannah's an unusual old woman who lives by herself near Blackbird Pond. As a Quaker, Hannah is set apart from the Puritans of the town—who don't care too much for her religion. The local townsfolk also suspect that Hannah may be a witch; this toothless old crone with a flapping shawl and weird scar on her forehead certainly looks the part.

But Kit can see past all that. She finds Hannah's outsider status rather appealing, sensing a kindred spirit in this social outcast. For her part, Hannah provides Kit with a place of relative peace and repose—a place of refuge from the townspeople. The time that Kit spends in Hannah's company acts as a crucial lesson in socialization, giving her much greater confidence in dealing with the people of Wethersfield.

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