The Witch of Blackbird Pond
by Elizabeth George Speare
The Witch of Blackbird Pond Visions of America Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
“How does it look to you?” he questioned.
Kit hesitated. She didn’t want to admit how disappointing she found this first glimpse of America. The bleak line of shore surrounding the gray harbor was a disheartening contrast to the shimmering green and white that fringed the turquoise bay of Barbados which was her home. The earthen wall of the fortification that faced the river was bare and ugly, and the houses beyond were no more than plain wooden boxes. (1.4-5)
For Kit, America is drab in comparison with her tropical home in Barbados. The shoreline, the harbor, and even the houses are not much to her liking. Life in the colonies, as we see here, is tough and at times bleak.
“But don’t you have slaves in America?”
“Yes, to our shame! Mostly down Virginia way. But there are plenty of fine folk like you here in New England who’ll pay a fat price for black flesh without asking any questions how it got here. If my father would consent to bring back just one load of slaves we would have had our new ketch by this summer. But we Eatons, we’re almighty proud that our ship has a good honest stink of horses!” (2.47-46)
Kit doesn’t understand slavery as something wrong; however, Nat expresses disgust at the institution. He explains that his family earns their living the honest way.
“All the land had to be sold, and the house and the slaves, and all the furniture from England. There wasn’t anything left, not even enough for my passage. To pay my way on the ship I had to sell my own Negro girl.”
“Humph!” With one syllable Matthew disposed of the sacrifice, only a little less sharp than Grandfather’s loss, of the little African slave who had been her shadow for twelve years. (3.70-71)
The differences in attitudes in slavery appear between Barbados and the New England colonies. Kit’s attitude is especially worth noting.