How does Kit change in the story from the beginning to the end of The Witch of Blackbird Pond?

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jameadows eNotes educator| Certified Educator

At the beginning of The Witch of Blackbird Pond, Kit is rather naive and spoiled. She has been raised in a sumptuous manner in Barbados, and she is not used to the Puritan way of life in Connecticut, in which people must do the hard work of providing for themselves. She is subjected to the hard work of helping her family in Connecticut.

At first, Kit is naive about the effect of her actions. For example, she decides to have the children she teaches act out a skit from the Bible, not realizing that the Puritans would find this blasphemous, or against their religion. Kit is fired from her position, and once she regains it, she is more careful to abide by the Puritans' rules. Over time, she becomes more aware of other people's political ideas as well. Though her family in Barbados supported the King of England, her family in Connecticut are opposed to him.

Though she was raised in a privileged way, she learns what it's like to feel at odds with one's surroundings and to be placed in an inferior position in society. Her understanding of what it's like to be an outcast explains in part why she befriends Hannah Tupper, who is also on the outskirts of the Puritan society. 

Lynn Ramsson eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The two answers above thoroughly discuss Kit's transformation from a naive and comfortable child to an observant and rugged young woman. This transformation can be explained in a very simple way: Kit has matured.

Though every child grows up eventually, Kit's maturation process is unique as she faces some unique challenges by the end of the book. As discussed above, she has experienced setbacks that have endangered her life and the lives of others about whom she cares deeply. As well, she has violated important rules of the new culture in which she lives, with serious consequences. Finally, Kit has involved herself in relationships that allow her to experience deep and selfless emotion. Through all of these events, Kit has learned a lot about herself and about her own strength, as well as her will to survive and to help others. She has developed resilience, which is a true sign of maturity.

By the end of the novel, Kit's maturity becomes obvious not just to the reader, but also to Kit herself, and she realizes she loves Nat and is ready to marry. Now, Kit is no longer a child, but a woman, with adult feelings and attachments.




anthonda49 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

At the beginning of the story, Kit was rather naive about people's ways of life. She believed that her life in Barbados was the norm with servants to help in life's daily tasks, freedom to worship or not worship, being able to swim and sail a boat, freedom to read whatever one wanted, and wearing what was fashionable. As she encounters the Puritans, she finds that the rules have changed. Everyone does the hard, dirty work of just surviving. There are no servants. Going to church on Sundays for hours on end was a requirement, not a choice. Being able to swim could get a woman labelled as a witch. Reading was to learn God's word, not be entertained. Clothing was plain and modest. Once Kit learned to follow these guidelines in order to be accepted, she coped and even grew to be loved by one as strict as Uncle Matthew. Kit learned to govern her comments and curb impulses that would not be acceptable in Wethersfield.What didn't change was Kit's nature to help others.

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The Witch of Blackbird Pond

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