The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare

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How do Matthew Wood, Reverend Gershom, and William Ashby feel about King James in The Witch of Blackbird Pond? What do their views suggest about the Wethersfield community?

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Jonathan Beutlich eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Matthew Wood and Reverend Gershom have polar opposite feelings about King James and his ruling decisions regarding the colony. Chapter 6 has a great scene in which these two men heatedly face off.

"I am mistaken," Matthew Wood challenged him, "because I do not favor knuckling under to this new King's governor?"

"Governor Andros was appointed by King James. Massachusetts has recognized that."

"Well, we here in Connecticut will never recognize it—never! Do you think we have labored and sacrificed all these years to build up a free government only to hand it over now without a murmur?"

Reverend Gershom is a Royalist. He believes in the concept of king and country. He lives in a colony that is technically under British rule; therefore, he should unwaveringly support the king. On the other side of the spectrum is Matthew Wood. He enjoys the distance from Britain's heavy-handed rule, and he has gotten used to a certain amount of independence because of that distance. The Connecticut charter...

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