illustration of a woman in a black dress with long black hair swimming down through the water toward a smaller human figure

The Witch of Blackbird Pond

by Elizabeth George Speare

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What are the symbols in the novel and what do they mean?

for example like when nat symbolizes kit as the small little bird that has gobbled up a nice fat partridge which is William Ashby. or when nat describes kit as the colorful bird. tell all of those symbols in the novel and tell me wat they symbolize please =).

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As the novel progresses, the ship called the Dolphin becomes an important symbol. At first the Dolphin symbolizes Kit’s home in Barbados. Indeed, it is a link to the beautiful island where she lived with her grandfather. To her the Dolphin means home and happiness and freedom. Later in the story, the Dolphin comes to represent Nat, the one person who championed her at the inquiry. At the end she finds herself looking for the ship to come to Wethersfield.

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The opening chapter uses a lot of symbolism to introduce the cultural contrasts between the warm island life of Barbados and the cold Puritan society of Connecticut, where religion controlled everything. For example, her colorful dresses brought from Barbados must be put away and are replaced with the drab colored clothing that is standard in Wethersfield. Before coming to America, she swam in the warm Caribbean waters; now she finds that the Connecticut waters are as chilling as the society they surround. The New England setting contrasts with Kit's former life and immediately introduces conflict into the story.

In The Witch of Blackbird Pond Hannah is described as a kind and harmless woman who lives in the sunny meadows. The setting where Hannah lives (sunny meadows) symbolizes and reaffirms her pleasant and harmless nature. Normally the reader would expect a witch to live in the deep dark shadowy forest or swamp.

I would continue to focus on symbolism that illuminates the contrast between light and dark, freedom and oppression, and the Kit's new life and her old life. The author is trying to make some very strong statements about the nature of the puritan lifestyle and how it affected anyone who was different or fell outside of the accepted societal norms.

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