The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare

The Witch of Blackbird Pond book cover
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Questions and Answers: Key Details

Questions
1. What happens at the husking bee?

2. How and why does John agree to marry Judith?

3. Why is Kit dismissed from teaching “dame school”?

4. John and Mercy never discuss their love. How does Kit learn of it?

5. Why did Matthew Wood banish Dr. Bulkeley from his home, and what made Wood change his mind?

Answers
1. The husking bee is a way to make some of the work of the community into shared fun. It is a custom that if one of the young people finds a red ear of corn, he or she can “claim a forfeit” (i.e., choose a prize). This is an excuse for single young men and women to kiss in public without getting in trouble.

2. John says that he wants to talk to Judith’s father about something, and Judith jumps to conclusions. She assumes he is asking for her hand in marriage and essentially throws herself on him and makes a public declaration. When Matthew joins in and gives his permission and congratulations, John is too embarrassed and too good-hearted to correct people. It seems like he would have let himself get railroaded into marrying the wrong woman. In fact, being captured by Indians is the only way John gets out of marrying Judith!

3. Kit is dismissed...

(The entire section is 417 words.)