In The Witch of Blackbird Pond, why is Judith mad at Kit for wearing a silk dress?

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litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Judith is envious of Kit for getting to wear a fancy dress to church.

Kit Tyler came to her aunt and uncle’s house unexpectedly. She had never been to Connecticut before, since she grew up on Barbados. Connecticut was a much different place. It was full of religious restrictions that she was not prepared for.

Kit’s wardrobe was completely inappropriate for Wethersfield. She had trunks of fine silk dresses, fancy gloves, and other frippery. Her cousins Judith and Mercy were thrilled when she brought them all out.

Judith did not move. Her attention had turned again to the row of trunks. "Do you mean to say that every one of those trunks is full of dresses like the one you have on?" (Ch. 4) 

Judith is impressed with the fact that the dresses are so beautiful, and fashionable. They have slits in the sleeves, which the minister opposes. Matthew Wood gets upset when he sees his daughters and wife with the dresses.

When it comes time for Kit to go to church, she has nothing but these fine silk dresses. Matthew Wood is frustrated, feeling that she is making a mockery of church by wearing them, but he has to agree because she doesn’t have a plain dress to wear. It is either the silk or staying home.

Judith was as outraged as her father, though for a different reason. Her pretty mouth had a sulky droop, and the long fringe of lashes barely hid the envy and rebellion in her blue eyes. (Ch. 5) 

Judith would love to wear one of those dresses. She knows that despite what her uncle says, some people do wear similar fancy clothes to church. She is very jealous of Kit. Kit has turned her world upside down. She does not know how to cook and clean appropriately and makes more work for Judith.

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The Witch of Blackbird Pond

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