What does Hannah say about her religious beliefs in Chapter 9 of "Witch of Blackbird Pond"?

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Significantly, Hannah says very little about her religious beliefs in Chapter 9.  Instead, she demonstrates the essence of her creed in her actions.

When Hannah finds Kit sobbing in the Meadow, she offers gentle understanding and comfort.  She knows that the Meadow effects "a cure...when the heart is troubled", and, when Kit has found a little bit of healing there, Hannah brings her to her humble home and offers her "a small corncake studded with blueberries, and...yellow goat's milk...every bit of dinner she had".  Hannah only hints at the persecution she herself has suffered for her religion, describing briefly how she and her husband came to Connecticut after fleeing Massachusetts with "brand(s) on (their) foreheads"; she then listens, "nodding her head like a wizened owl", as Kit pours out her own homesickness for her grandfather and her home, and Kit realizes that "no one, since she had come to America, had ever really wanted to hear" about those things.  Kit returns from Hannah's house renewed and encouraged because of Hannah's kind ministry and concern, her religion manifest in action (Ch.9).

Later, Kit asks Hannah "how...one become(s) a Quaker", but Hannah never answers directly (Ch.10).  It is only when she witnesses the old woman working her magic on shy Prudence, with "blueberry cake and a kitten", that Kit understands the "invisible ingredient" that makes her ministry unfailing - "the Bible name for it (is) love" (Ch.11).

Read the study guide:
The Witch of Blackbird Pond

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