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The Witch of Blackbird Pond

by Elizabeth George Speare

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Compare the characteristics of Kit, Mercy, and Judith in The Witch of Blackbird Pond.

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Kit is strong-willed, independent, and used to getting attention. She becomes jealous when she feels that someone else is receiving attention that she expected to obtain for herself, particularly romantic attraction from a man. This tendency makes her jealous of Judith early in the story, before William turns his interest to Kit. Interestingly, Kit also sometimes envies her cousins for their practical abilities, since she was never trained to make porridge, sew dresses, or do anything to help fulfill the fundamental requirements of life.

Judith is practical, but also has secret longings for a life of leisure and for fancy possessions. Given her humble and religious upbringing, she is jealous of Kit for Kit's rich background and the beautiful clothing she brings with her from Barbados. In contrast to Kit's habit of romantic jealousy, Judith is not jealous about William for long, since she becomes attracted to John Holbrook fairly quickly.

Mercy, who is kind and loving, is the most self-sacrificing character in the book. She loves John Holbrook, but she would never choose to take him away from Judith. In fact, Judith and John almost end up engaged, but fortunately fate prevents that from happening. Mercy loves her sister and, while she may be sad at the idea of giving John up to her, there's no indication that she feels the uglier emotion of jealousy about the situation.

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Well, the answer here depends in part on which characteristics you're talking about, and what each person is jealous of.

Mercy, of course, is one of the emotional icons of The Witch of Blackbird Pond. Though her limited body gives her more reason to be jealous (as does the possibility of losing her love), she accepts, despite all.

Kit is jealous of the family's closeness and acceptance early on; it seems like she has not place of her own (and she doesn't, really), and so envies them.

Judith is most conventionally jealous. When Kit gets male attention, or shows pretty dresses, she flares with jealous anger.

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