Study Guide

The Witch of Blackbird Pond Marriage

By Elizabeth George Speare


For a girl in the 17th-century, marriage was the major aim of her life. Her role as a wife and mother would come to wholly define her as a person. Needless to say, the question of marriage was huge for young women in the era, as it is for the female characters of <em>The Witch of Blackbird Pond</em>. Kit must decide whether she can abide William Ashby for the life of luxury he offers, or if perhaps love is more important when starting a family. This question is echoed in the experiences of Judith and Mercy, who must also find proper partners.

Questions About Marriage

  1. Why did Aunt Rachel leave her family to marry Matthew? Do you think she's happy about her decision?
  2. Why does Kit consider marrying William, even though she finds him boring? How would you feel about Kit if she decided to marry William?
  3. In what ways is Judith a better match for William than Kit is?  Why did William want to marry Kit to begin with?
  4. Why does John Holbrook agree to marry Judith?
  5. Why does Nat illuminate William Ashby’s windows with jack-o-lanterns?
  6. Why doesn’t William defend Kit at her trial?
  7. What would Kit's life have been like if she decided to work as a governess instead of marrying Nat?
  8. How was looking for a spouse different in early America than it is today? How was it similar?

Chew on This

The book argues that love is the most important concern when it comes to picking a husband or wife.

Though marriage was inevitable for women in the seventeenth-century, women today have many other options.