I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem

I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem

by

Maryse Condé

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I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem: Part 2: Chapter 1 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Three ministers, each from a different corner of Massachusetts, gather to try Tituba. Tituba defends her innocence, but her anxiety makes her voice sound shaky. Parris presents the youngest and most seemingly vulnerable of the accusers to the ministers. They begin to accuse Tituba, Sarah Goode, and Sarah Osborne of witchcraft.
Earlier, Tituba opined that Parris was so paranoid that he was capable of “creat[ing] evil.” Here, he does just that, setting up a scene that suggests witchcraft when there is none. And by doing this, Parris is able to slander three of the most vulnerable women in the community (Tituba, Goode, and Osborne).
Themes
Desire, Patriarchy and the Difficulty of Feminism Theme Icon
Archival History vs. Memory Theme Icon
Like “birds of prey,” Parris and the other ministers tie Tituba down and command that she confess to witchcraft and name her accomplices. When she insists that she has not done anything, they begin to hit her and sexually assault her with a sharp stick. Through it all, Tituba continues to insist that she will “never! Never!” cast suspicion on others. John Indian comes in and begs Tituba to accuse others and save herself. He then asks her to think of their unborn child, which only upsets her more.
Parris, who cannot look at his own wife’s nude body, now reveals himself to be capable of great sexual violence—once more reflecting how the bigoted white Puritans also seek to use Black women as an outlet for the sexual feelings they normally repress. Also, this debate between John and Tituba once more reflects the differing emphasis they place on survival vs. personal integrity.
Themes
Surviving vs. Enduring Theme Icon
Slavery and Daily Life  Theme Icon
Desire, Patriarchy and the Difficulty of Feminism Theme Icon
Sarah Goode and Sarah Osborne are also arrested. While she is being chained, Goodwife Goode asks who will take care of her daughter Dorcas, and John Proctor volunteers; this then causes suspicion to fall on the Proctor family.
John Proctor (the protagonist of The Crucible) is doing the Christian thing by showing charity, but in cruel Salem, what is ostensibly an act of goodness causes the villagers only to view him as suspect.
Themes
Desire, Patriarchy and the Difficulty of Feminism Theme Icon
As Tituba is dragged to the jail in Ipswich through the cold February air, she decides that she will take her revenge and name names. When she finally arrives, she is put in the same cell as Goode and Osborne. Later that night, both women begin to fall into fits themselves, accusing Tituba of being a witch. Tituba thinks, once again, about the hypocrisy of the villagers. 
Though the decision to name names takes a toll on Tituba, the same is not true for Sarah Goode and Sarah Osborne, both of whom turn against Tituba as soon as they can. Once more, white women are a source of betrayal and disappointment for Tituba.
Themes
Slavery and Daily Life  Theme Icon
Desire, Patriarchy and the Difficulty of Feminism Theme Icon
Get the entire I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem LitChart as a printable PDF.
I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem PDF