How do each of the characters interpret John's words in Chapter 13 of "Witch of Blackbird Pond"?John says, "there is something I want to speak to your father about". Only the...

How do each of the characters interpret John's words in Chapter 13 of "Witch of Blackbird Pond"?

John says, "there is something I want to speak to your father about". Only the reader knows what he means.  How do each of the other characters interpret John's words?

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Actually, when John says, "there is something I want to speak to your father about", Kit knows, along with the reader, what he means.  Kit had met John along the road to the Wood's house, and John had revealed to her that he is interested in courting Mercy, that it had "always been Mercy, from the very beginning".  Kit is ecstatic that John is interested in Mercy; she feels that the match is "exactly, unbelievably right".  Although John does not intend to give voice to his intentions yet, since he has "nothing to offer (Mercy), nothing at all", Kit, remembering "the longing in Mercy's eyes" when she sees John Holbrook, convinces him to "tell her, tonight".

When John Holbrook arrives at the house and announces that "there is something I want to speak to (their) father about", Judith, who has "set her cap" for him, immediately assumes that he is going to ask permission to court her.  She immediately takes the initiative and asks her father herself.  Her "radiance is irresistible", and Matthew Wood gives his consent, with Rachel and Mercy offering their congratulations.  Kit is speechless, and John is stunned, and with his silence gives unwitting consent to the match.  Even though Mercy may have had feelings of her own for John, she is upheld by love, which is "much stronger than pride".  John understands that Mercy "had never in her life reached her hand for so much as a crust of bread that Judith might want", and that "if he should hurt Judith now...(she) would never forgive either him or herself" (Chapter 13).

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The Witch of Blackbird Pond

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