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Analysis

What’s Up With the Ending?

At the end of The Witch of Blackbird Pond all is right with the world: Kit Tyler has been cleared of all charges of witchcraft and is a free woman. Where does she go from here, though?

Kit’s first option is to return to Barbados as a single woman and work as a governess. The narrator maps this option for us as follows:

She would go as a single woman who must work for her living. Her best chance, she had decided, lay in seeking employment as a governess in one of the wealthy families. She liked teaching children, and hopefully there might be a library where she could extend her own learning as well as that of her charges. Whatever befell, there would be a blue sky overhead, and the warmth and color and fragrance and beauty that her heart craved. (21.11)

In this option, Kit is a lone wolf but she is also doing something she loves: continuing her education and teaching children to read and write.

The second option, the path Kit does actually take, is to become the wife of Nat Eaton and to sail around the world with him on his new boat with him. We'll let Nat explain:

“There’ll be a house someday, in Saybrook, or here in Wethersfield if you like. I’ve thought of nothing else all winter. In November we’ll sail south to the Indies. In the summer –”

“In the summer Hannah and I will have a garden!” (21.42-21.43)

Kit chooses not to return to Barbados alone. Instead, she decides that home is not necessarily Barbados, but more specifically the people she loves: Nat, of course, but Hannah too. There’s also the Wood family and Prudence. She gets to stay around her family and get married happily.

What do you think of the path Kit chooses? What would you do?

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