“Consider It Joy” In the book “Witch of Blackbird Pond”, in this essay referred to as WBP, the protagonist Katherine Tyler, affectionately referred to as Kit, is an orphaned fifteen year old girl who grew up on the tropical island of Barbados where her grandfather had supported her till her current age when he died and left the family debt and affairs in her young and incapable hands. Kit however being a smart child sold their plantation and slaves, and everything but her own clothes to pay off the debt, “I suppose he was wealthy, once. But he had not been well for a long time.
I think for years he was not able to manage the plantation, but no one realized it. He left everything more and more to the overseer, a man named Bryant. Last winter Bryant sold off the whole crop and then disappeared. Probably he sailed back to England on the trading ship. Grandfather couldn’t believe it. After that he was never really well. The other plantation owners were his friends. Nobody ever pressed him, but after he died there just seemed to be debts everywhere, wherever I turned. ” “Did you pay them? ” “Yes, every one of them.
All the land had to be sold, and the house and the slaves, and all the furniture from England. There wasn’t anything left, not even enough for my passage. To pay my way on the ship I had to sell my own Negro girl. ” , Kit then bought a ticket to New England so that she could go and live with her unsuspecting Aunt Rachel’s family. While Kit lived in Barbados she was treated as a queen of olden times was, with all the fashions and all the pretty trinkets she had ever desired. She considered it the happiest time of her life, but she would argue later that it was not but a false joy, because later on in WBP it says, Suddenly she was trembling. She snatched at the dream that had comforted her for so long. It was faded and thin, like a letter too often read. She tried to remember how it had felt to stand on the deck of the Dolphin and see before her the harbor of Barbados. The haunting joy eluded her; the dream shores were dim and unreal. ” Kit had considered Barbados a perfect place, with everything she ever wanted, but when she had this revelation she realized that the joy she had pursued there had only been a selfish joy.
Towards the end of the book, while Kit was working in the onion fields she had a strange thought, “This is the way I used to feel in Barbados, Kit thought with surprise. Light as air somehow. Here I’ve been working like a slave, much harder than I’ve ever worked in the onion fields, but I feel as though nothing mattered except just to be alive right at this moment. ” , Kit learned that joy was not derived from pleasure, and that she didn’t need to be in a hundred pound Petticoat to be happy, but could be groveling in the dirt picking onions with her bare hands and still could be joyful.
In the book WBP Elizabeth G. Speare skillfully presents a small thought into play in the minds of her readers, an idea of a greater happiness that comes not so much from Kits global positioning, but from who is placed around her. In Barbados, she thought of herself as happy because her grandfather was there, and he cared for her. While on the boat, she felt happy because Nat was with her, “How long had she really known that the piercing happiness of that moment had come not from the sight of the harbor at all, but from the certainty that the one she loved stood beside her? , in Hannah’s house she felt happy because of Prudence and Hannah and the cats, “She reached down and scooped up the sleeping cat from the Boor, settling its limp weight in her lap and tickling the soft chin until a contented purr almost matched the hum of the spinning wheel. The late afternoon sun slanted through the open door and fell across Hannah’s gnarled hands as they moved swiftly and surely. Peace flowed into Kit. She felt warm and happy. ” , At the dame school, she was happy because she was with the children and Mercy.
These happy moments grow closer and closer together as the book progresses, and Kit realizes that despite the cold and formidable landscape of New England there were beauties beyond imagine hidden in its hollows and hills. While reading “The Witch of Blackbird pond” the reader sees Kit Tyler growing from a self-consumed child, to a mature helpful, loving adult. An adult prepared for happiness or trials, and how she had a preconceived misconception of love and joy. In the end, Kit finds the greatest joy and love of her life, Nat. “Happiness brimmed over into shaky laughter. “Captain Eaten, we’d be proud to have you dine with us. “