What are some similarities and differences between Barbados and Weathersfield in "Witch of Blackbird Pond"?

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dymatsuoka | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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At the time of the story, 1687, both Barbados and the Connecticut Colony, where Weathersfield is located, are under British rule.  Aside from that, there appear to be more differences than similarities between the two places.

As Kit remembers it, Barbados is a bright, sunny place.  As a tropical island, it has a warm climate, and the people there are at home in the surrounding sea; Kit recalls that her "grandfather taught (her) to swim as soon as (she) could walk".  The island is surprisingly cosmopolitan, with "a famous town and fine streets and shops" (Chapter 1).  Kit thinks of Barbados as "a paradise", a beautiful place where there are "flowers every day of the year...you can always smell them in the air, even out to sea" (Chapter 9).

In contrast, Weathersfield is dour and gray; although there are occasionally sunny days there, the climate is cooler and the fog shrouds the town frequently.  Weathersfield is a Puritan town, and the center of the community is the Meeting House, before which stand instruments of discipline, "a pillory, a whipping post and stocks".  The people of Weathersfield reflect the severity of their surroundings.  Well-meaning, devout, and sincere for the most part, they adhere to strict standards set forth by their religion in every aspect of their lives.  To Kit, everything about Weathersfield is "plain and unlovely" in comparison to the life she lived on the island of Barbados (Chapter 5).

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