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The Witch of Blackbird Pond

by Elizabeth George Speare

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Student Question

What revelation does Kit have about Uncle Matthew in Witch of Blackbird Pond?

Kit has "understood for the first time what her aunt had seen in that fierce man to make her cross an ocean at his side"...

Expert Answers

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Kit has come to realize that her Uncle Matthew is a good and sincere man who possesses "a sort of magnificence about him, even without the fine uniform that made Governor Andros so splendid". 

At first, Kit had seen Uncle Matthew only as a strict, dour father-figure who was basically kind, but who tolerated no nonsense from his family and those entrusted to his care.  She had sometimes wondered what it was about him that had drawn her beautiful and fun-loving Aunt Rachel to "cross an ocean at his side".  After seeing how he conducts himself during the crisis concerning the action of the Crown that would limit the colonists rights, however, Kit discovers there is so much more to her Uncle than the fierce unyieldingness he exudes towards those who do not know him well.  Matthew is passionately devoted to the cause of independence from British rule, but he is realistic, has a level head, and is adamantly opposed to violent action.  When rash voices speak out against the coming of Andros, Matthew's voice, "cold and steady, never raised or out of control", cautions, "whatever happens...we do not want any shooting here in Connecticut...it would mean senseless bloodshed".  The dignity, strength, and common sense with which Matthew comports himself during the difficult situation causes Kit to look at him with newfound respect and appreciation.  After witnessing the depth of his character, "Kit (has) to admit - she (is) proud of him" (Chapter 15).

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