I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem by Maryse Condé

1133 Words5 Pages
As the story of Tituba unfolds, it reveals a strong and kind hearted young woman, very different from the Tituba we meet in The Crucible. I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem unveils for the reader, Tituba's life, loves, and losses. Her long and arduous journey through life is inspired by her many female counterparts, yet also hindered by her insatiable weakness for men, who also press upon her the realities of life.

Tituba's life is one full of magic and wonder, yet also fraught with suffering. The majority of Tituba'' pain and suffering is caused by the hands of men, in particular, white men. The most prominent destructive white male in Tituba's life is Samuel Parris. From the moment Tituba is placed into Parris'
…show more content…
I am sure of that, you're too lovely! Even if they all accused you, I would defend your innocence." (95).

After her heinous treatment in Salem, and the devastating betrayal of John Indian, these words and this faith are rejuvenating to Tituba's emotional stability. Hester's encouragement is felt by Tituba throughout the remainder of her life, and even during her existence as a spirit. She draws on Hester strongly during times of need, for example as she attempts to practice her art after an extended absence: "I felt a pair of lips on my neck and knew it was Hester come to give me courage." (125).

Despite the efforts of Hester and her female counterparts to show Tituba the possibilities of life, the negative influence of John Indian demonstrates the limitations of life. In the novel I, Tituba, John presses upon Tituba the urgency of a slave's life: "John Indian closed the door with a wooden latch and took me in his arms, whispering: 'The duty of a slave is to survive! Do you understand? To survive!'"(22) These harsh words are spoken to Tituba upon arrival at the estate of Susanna Endicott as Tituba reencounters the realities of life for a black slave.

As racism was obviously extremely prevalent in the 1600's, Tituba is limited by her race, but also by her gender. This patriarchal society is much more lenient when dealing with men than women. For Tituba, a black female slave, it seems as if the suffering will
Get Access