What can be compared and contrasted in The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare?

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There are many things that can be compared and contrasted with this book. An obvious choice is Mercy and Judith Wood. As sisters that have a lot in common as shown through their devotion to family, but Judith is a much bigger dreamer as well as having much more prideful tendencies. While there is plenty to compare and contrast between those two characters, I like to examine Matthew Wood and Reverend Gershom. They are similar in that they are both men of deep faith. They also both show strong moral values and strong societal commitments; however, their political viewpoints are at polar opposite ends of the spectrum. Matthew Wood is a colony first man. He respects the king as long as the king lets the colonies act with a certain amount of autonomy. When the king threatens to take back the charter, it becomes quite clear to readers and townsfolk that Matthew is no Loyalist. Contrast that with Reverend Gershom. He is a Loyalist through and through. He believes that King James's decisions are right and just and should be adhered to without question. These two men do not see eye to eye when it comes to politics, and chapter six has a great confrontation between these two men.

"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?"

I would also recommend comparing Kit to the entire community and the family that she lives with. Kit is a good choice for this compare and contrast type of question because she is an outsider in the community, and she butts heads with various societal norms.

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There are many comparisons and contrasts in The Witch of Blackbird Pond. Two more obvious contrasts are Mercy and Judith Wood.  They have many things in common, but their personalities are very different.

Mercy and Judith are sisters. They are devoted to their mother. Both hope to marry someday. They both welcome Kit as part of their family.

Judith is confident and prideful. She is beautiful, and she is aware of this.  Judith dislikes hard work, and she desires to marry a wealthy man.  Judith is often unaware, such as when she thinks John Holbrook wants to marry her. 

Mercy is content and humble.  When she was very young, she became ill with a fever. She recovered, but her leg was damaged. She limps and uses crutches to walk. Mercy is content with her life despite her disability.  She is fond of John Holbrook, but she does not object when he becomes engaged to Judith. She is kind and gentle to Kit. Mercy shows compassion to Kit upon her arrival:

Kit found Mercy's eyes and was steadied by the quiet sympathy she saw there (Chapter 3). 

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