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The Witch of Blackbird Pond

The Witch of Blackbird Pond

by Elizabeth George Speare

Religion Theme

Religion is an important aspect of the world of The Witch of Blackbird Pond: it organizes, and in some instances divides, the society of Wethersfield, Connecticut. There are three main factions featured in the novel: the Puritans, the Quakers, and the Church of England. The Puritans are stern and pious, such as the members of the Wood family. The Quakers, like Hannah and her late husband, are outcast from Puritan society, though they are peace loving. Members of the Church of England, such as Kit and her grandfather, are typically Royalists and loyal to the king. (For more see our section on “Characterization: Religion.”) In the book we come to see that each religious faction must learn to get along with the other; if not, the consequences will be dire.

Questions About Religion

  1. Why doesn’t John Holbrook approve of Shakespeare?
  2. What are Sabbath Houses?
  3. Why is Kit punished for having the school children act out the tale of the Good Samaritan?
  4. Why does Hannah have a scar on her forehead?
  5. How is Mercy’s view of religion different from the rest of her family’s?
  6. How are the beliefs of Puritans, Quakers, and members of the Church of England different? How are their religious beliefs alike?
  7. Which characters in the novel practice religious tolerance? Which do not?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

In the novel, the beliefs of all of the religions mentioned are more similar than they are different.

A peaceful society requires acceptance of all faiths and religious practices.

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