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The Witch of Blackbird Pond

by Elizabeth George Speare

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Cover
 

Life in early New England was hard.  The Puritans took their work and religion very seriously.  Their laws were strict, and lawbreakers faced severe punishment.  One crime punishable by death was witchcraft.  Waves of superstitious fear flowed through the Puritan settlements about witches for several years.   People were accused of being in league with the devil for outrageous reasons like: 

        "When his shadow fell on me, I cut my finger with my knife."

How could anyone prove their innocence?  It was a trying time.

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Themes:  Besides giving us a glimpse of life in Puritan culture, The Witch of Blackbird Pond speaks of:

  • The importance and strength of the family.
  • The importance of choosing a compatible marriage partner with which to begin a new family.
  • Acceptance and survival in spite of not fitting in.
  • The growth of character that hardships develop within us.