What is Reverend Bulkley's attitude toward anyone who isn't a Puritan in Witch of Blackbird Pond

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coachingcorner eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the book 'The Witch of Blackbird Pond' Reverend Bulkeley is critical of the Puritans as he believes they are 'mistaken' or worse (potential traitors) because they have abandoned their 'loyalty' to the king of England. Of course their point is that they have forged a new country with no royalty so therefore have no need of connections with the king back home or any interest in preserving his (flawed) monarchy. He may be well be of the attitude that anyone who isn't a Puritan must be a Royalist and his attitude is mainly approving towards Royalists. He asks Kit whether it is true that her grandfather was knighted for his loyalty to King Charles and seems very warm in his conversation with her. He compliments Kit and her family on this very great honour, showing his approving attitude towards them and asks if her grandfather was also loyal to King James.

Sounding her out further (to establish whether the family bond of loyalty has stood the test of time and the rise of Puritanism) he then moves on gently to the the topic of Kit's own personal beliefs.

“And you yourself? You are a loyal subject also?'

“How could I be otherwise, sir?' Kit was puzzled.

Kit's confusion shows the strength of her beliefs - the idea of disloyalty is so alien to her that she finds it an odd question. But Reverend Bulkeley's subtle answer shows that he is fearful for the non-Puritans too - he is afraid for them as he believes the Puritans will gradually inculcate anti-Royalist sentiment into communities and 're-educate' young people like Kit.

“There are some who seem to find it possible,' remarked the minister, staring meaningfully at a ceiling beam.'

He is afraid that Matthew will 'corrupt' and change the beliefs of the young and replace them with his own creed. His attitude towards those who are not Puritans is that they are under threat and that their whole value system is about to be destroyed.