Tituba, Reluctant Witch of Salem: Devilish Indians and Puritan Fantasies, Book Review

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Title: Tituba, Reluctant Witch of Salem: Devilish Indians and Puritan Fantasies Author: Elaine G. Breslaw Publication: New York and London, 1996 This book summarizes the life of a female Indian servant and her involvement in the 1692 witch trials in Salem, Massachusetts. To begin it gives background information of the Arawak Indian woman named Tituba, which reveals cultural influences. It tells how Tituba was captured and sold into slavery and shifted from one cultural world to another, from South America to Barbados then to Massachusetts, where she was forced to separate from friends and her culture to acclimate and thrive in another; as a servant she had no say in the matter. Her obligations as a servant were to fulfill…show more content…
According to folklore, the dog would then reveal the name of those responsible for bewitching the girl. In February of 1692, after two months of observing the girl in retched pain, Tituba agreed to assist in preparing the witchcake. The result was much unexpected as it was revealed that preparation of the witchcake had taken place. The other girls, already frightened by the previous symptoms displayed by Betty and their involvement in the occult games, would become even more frightened with the knowledge of the counter-magic. They too would start to experience such symptoms that would become even more violent than those presented before to include hallucinations; the witchcake did not relieve but instead intensified their hysteria as well as the town’s fears and fantasies of evil among them. The girls would soon confirm the town’s suspicions of evil implications by identifying two women, Sarah Goode (38), and Sarah Osborne (49), who they believed were witches tormenting them, those women also accused Tituba (between 25-30 years old). Warrants of arrest were prepared for the three women on February 29 and Tituba’s testimonies would proceed from March 1-5, resulting in the commencement of the greatest-known witch hunt of all time. Throughout Tituba’s testimonies she fed her audience with tales of witchery and devilish manifestations that would fuel their

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