I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem

I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem

by

Maryse Condé

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Benjamin Cohen d’Azevedo Character Analysis

Benjamin d’Azevedo is an older, wealthy, Jewish merchant from Portugal. He purchases Tituba after the conclusion of the Salem witch trials, because he distrusts the Puritans and so does not put stock in their accusations of people. As the father of nine children and a widower, Benjamin mostly relies on Tituba to do household chores, though she also uses her powers to connect him to his deceased wife Abigail d’Azevedo. Benjamin and Tituba become romantically involved, and though her new paramour is physically unattractive, Tituba thinks fondly of their sexual life together (which is “like a drunken boat on a choppy sea”). Benjamin reflects that “our God knows neither race nor color,” and his own experiences as a Jew allow him some insight into the persecution Tituba faces as a Black woman; still, he initially refuses to grant Tituba her legal freedom. However, after his children are killed in a fire, Benjamin regrets his role as an enslaver, and he frees Tituba and buys her passage back to Barbados.

Benjamin Cohen d’Azevedo Quotes in I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem

The I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem quotes below are all either spoken by Benjamin Cohen d’Azevedo or refer to Benjamin Cohen d’Azevedo . For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Surviving vs. Enduring Theme Icon
).
Part 2: Chapter 14 Quotes

When I got to the burning of Benjamin Cohen d’Azevedo’s house, he interrupted me with a frown: “But why? Wasn't he white like the others? […] Do they need to hate so much that they hate each other?”

Related Characters: Tituba (speaker), Iphigene (speaker), Benjamin Cohen d’Azevedo
Page Number: 160
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem LitChart as a printable PDF.
I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem PDF

Benjamin Cohen d’Azevedo Character Timeline in I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem

The timeline below shows where the character Benjamin Cohen d’Azevedo appears in I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 2: Chapter 8
Slavery and Daily Life  Theme Icon
Tituba learns that the Jewish merchant is named Benjamin Cohen d’Azevedo; his wife and youngest children have recently passed away, but he still has... (full context)
Nature as Knowledge Theme Icon
Over time, Benjamin begins to treat Tituba with great kindness, giving her clothes or little treats that had... (full context)
Surviving vs. Enduring Theme Icon
Slavery and Daily Life  Theme Icon
After several weeks of these late-night meetings, Benjamin asks if his oldest daughter Metahebel can join. Metahebel is Tituba’s favorite of the children,... (full context)
Desire, Patriarchy and the Difficulty of Feminism Theme Icon
Benjamin and Tituba eventually end up sleeping together; “why,” Tituba wonders, “must any relationship with the... (full context)
Slavery and Daily Life  Theme Icon
Desire, Patriarchy and the Difficulty of Feminism Theme Icon
Benjamin educates Tituba about the history of the Jews, and he introduces her to the contemporary... (full context)
Surviving vs. Enduring Theme Icon
Slavery and Daily Life  Theme Icon
Desire, Patriarchy and the Difficulty of Feminism Theme Icon
...to live with a wealthy white woman. Tituba gets back just in time to hear Benjamin and his children doing their evening prayers, but she runs to her room in a... (full context)
Part 2: Chapter 9
Surviving vs. Enduring Theme Icon
Slavery and Daily Life  Theme Icon
Tituba recovers from the news of John Indian, and she has four happy months with Benjamin and his children; her new lover declares that “our God knows neither race nor color,”... (full context)
Part 2: Chapter 10
Slavery and Daily Life  Theme Icon
Eventually, the villagers turn against Benjamin and Tituba, ripping the family’s mezuzahs off the door and throwing stones at anyone who... (full context)
Slavery and Daily Life  Theme Icon
Desire, Patriarchy and the Difficulty of Feminism Theme Icon
Benjamin believes that God is punishing him, not for having had sex outside of marriage but... (full context)
Part 2: Chapter 11
Desire, Patriarchy and the Difficulty of Feminism Theme Icon
Tituba reflects on how happy she was for her few months with Benjamin: “we used to pitch and plunge like a drunken boat on a choppy sea.” Hester... (full context)
Part 2: Chapter 12
Surviving vs. Enduring Theme Icon
Nature as Knowledge Theme Icon
Archival History vs. Memory Theme Icon
...sounds of the frogs and birds on the island. In her dreams, Hester, Metahebel, and Benjamin sit around her bed. (full context)
Part 2: Chapter 15
Slavery and Daily Life  Theme Icon
Nature as Knowledge Theme Icon
...She is reminded of her time in New England, when the house she shared with Benjamin was set on fire. (full context)