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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Who is Goodwife Cruff in The Witch of Blackbird Pond?

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Goodwife Cruff is a significant character because she leads the accusations against Kit. Goodwife Cruff first claims Kit must be a witch when Kit jumps into the water to retrieve Prudence's dropped doll: "no respectable woman could keep afloat in the water."

Kit jumps in the water because she sees how upset Prudence is. Goodwife Cruff is not as caring, even though Prudence is her own daughter. Instead of being thankful, she has it out for Kit. She also believes the becalmed ship is because of Kit.

Goodwife Cruff is very unfriendly. She is even mean to her own family, as she believes her daughter Prudence is too stupid to learn how to read or write. Kit thinks Goodwife Cruff is too strict with her children and too controlling of her husband.

Goodwife Cruff continues to believe Kit is a witch. She says Kit helped Hannah escape and brings the hornbook out as evidence against Kit.

Goodwife Cruff is cruel and bitter.

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Goodwife Cruff is a woman who lives in Wethersfield, Connecticut. Kit first meets Goodwife Cruff, along with her husband and daughter, on the ship from Saybrook to Wethersfield. Goodwife Cruff is a cold, impatient, and opinionated woman. She is serious, and Kit describes her as having a "hard thin mouth" (Chapter 11).

Kit describes Goodman Cruff as Goodwife Cruff's "cowed shadow of a husband," and Prudence as a "miserable little wraith of a child" (Chapter 2). Goodwife Cruff does not hide that she dislikes Kit. Kit later sees her gossiping in town with several other ladies.

Goodwife Cruff refuses to let Prudence go to the dame school like other children. Goodman Cruff wants Prudence to go, but his wife says Prudence is stupid. Later, Goodwife Cruff is one of Kit's accusers. She also points out that Nat is in the town even though he has been banished.

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