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The Witch of Blackbird Pond

by Elizabeth George Speare
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What does Nat and William's behavior during the trial tell you about their personalities in The Witch of Blackbird Pond?

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This is somewhat of an odd question as William does not appear during the trial in chapter 19. Chapter 20 highlights this fact by flatly telling readers that when William came to call on Kit in this chapter, that it was the first time he had seen Kit since her...

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This is somewhat of an odd question as William does not appear during the trial in chapter 19. Chapter 20 highlights this fact by flatly telling readers that when William came to call on Kit in this chapter, that it was the first time he had seen Kit since her arrest. He makes up a weak excuse about it being due to the fact that he was trying to stay away from the ill family; however, Kit and readers know that William stayed away from Kit and the trial because he didn't want his reputation and standing within the community tarnished. He put intentional distance between himself and Kit in order to insulate himself from possible repercussions if Kit was found guilty of witchcraft.

William's behavior stands out in stark contrast to Nat's behavior. Nat has already been banned from Wethersfield, and he is risking additional punishment by returning to the town to help Kit during the trial, yet that is what Nat does.

Nat comes to Kit's aid in the trial. He brings Prudence as a "witness" to show the court that Kit wasn't practicing witchcraft. Kit was teaching Prudence to read and write. Nat's actions show that he is willing to put himself in additional danger for Kit, while William's actions show that he isn't willing to put himself in danger for Kit. Nat is quite selfless while William is quite selfish.

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