Why did Kit blush at Meeting in The Witch of Blackbird Pond?

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litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Kit blushes because she is overdressed and everyone is looking at her.

Kit really doesn’t understand the Puritans.  She doesn’t realize how important religion is in their lives.  The first time they go to Meeting, she tells them she wasn’t planning to attend because when she lived with her grandfather she only went to church at Christmas.  This really irritates her uncle.

What an uproar she had caused! There was no Church of England in Wethersfield, her uncle had informed her, and furthermore, since she was now a member of his household she would forget her popish ideas and attend Meeting like a Godfearing woman. (Ch. 5) 

Kit has to wear one of her fancy dresses because, as her aunt says, she has not had time to get new clothes.  Her uncle doesn’t approve of the “flowered silk,” saying that she will “mock the Lord's assembly with such frippery,” but he can’t argue that fact.  As a result, Kit has to attend the meeting in clothes no Puritan would approve of.  When she enters, she can see them all looking at her. 

As Kit moved behind her the astonishment of the assembled townspeople met her with the impact of a gathering wave. It was not so much a sound as a stillness so intent that it made her ears ring. She knew that her cheeks were flaming, but she held her head high under the feathered bonnet. (Ch. 5) 

There are a few people in Meeting that Kit notices are as fashionably dressed as she is, but most of them are “soberly and poorly clad.”  She finds the service horribly boring.  Kit is thrilled to get out, but horrified when she learns that there is another service in the afternoon! 

Kit’s clothes are a visible symbol of being out of place.  She is the tropical bird, and the fish out of water.  The Woods may be the only family she has left, but their strange ways confuse and alienate her.  No matter what she does or says, it seems to be wrong.

Read the study guide:
The Witch of Blackbird Pond

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