Study Guide

The Witch of Blackbird Pond Identity

By Elizabeth George Speare


Ah, the search for identity. It’s a common enough theme in young adult literature. Kit Tyler begins The Witch of Blackbird Pond very sure of who she is: the granddaughter of Sir Francis Tyler, an aristocrat from the island of Barbados. Kit is used to not doing much work at all; she is used to having her own slave to attend her, after all. She loves reading for pleasure (Shakespeare) and fine frilly dresses. Once Kit arrives at the home of the Wood family in the Puritan Connecticut Colony, though, she realizes that these things that once defined her (her social class, her books, her grandfather) are no longer a part of her life. Kit Tyler must decide who she is now. Who is she really?

Questions About Identity

  1. How is Kit’s grandfather important to her sense of self?               
  2. How is Kit like the tropical flower Hannah describes?
  3. Why does Nat compare Kit to a tropical bird?                  
  4. Why are books important to Kit?
  5. How will marriage shape Kit’s identity?
  6. Where does Kit feel most comfortable with herself – and others?
  7. In the novel, what parts of Kit's personality change and what stays the same?

Chew on This

The place you come from defines you as a person.

By the end of the novel, Kit would no longer fit in Barbados; she's become a New Englander.