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 3 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
A footnote explains that the following chapter is taken from the actual archival records of Tituba’s testimony. In her testimony, Tituba explains that she never hurt any children, even though the devil asked her to do so; instead, she insists that Sarah Goode and Sarah Osborne hurt the young girls. Tituba testifies that she was threatened by these women and two others, as well as “a tall man of Boston.”
Later, Tituba will worry that history will remember her incorrectly, flattening her interiority and defining her in terms of her trial. Here, Condé’s use of the archival records proves that history did just that. There is no record of the good Tituba did, the expertise she possessed, or the pain she felt; the only thing noted beyond her testimony is the fact that she was enslaved.
Themes
Surviving vs. Enduring Theme Icon
Archival History vs. Memory Theme Icon
Tituba then admits to hurting some of the children, but she swears she will do so no longer. She also mentions some other symbols of the devil: she claims to have seen a black dog, two rats, and a pretty yellow bird. Lastly, she testifies to having pinched and hurt other villagers (including Anne Putnam).
In addition to accusing the two women who turned against her, Tituba now recites almost word-for-word what she practiced with Hester. Interestingly, she does not bring up having seen “a black man,” probably out of fear for John Indian.
Themes
Surviving vs. Enduring Theme Icon
Slavery and Daily Life  Theme Icon
Archival History vs. Memory Theme Icon
The archival record ends, and Tituba resumes her own narration. When she is pressed to give more names, she fakes sudden blindness, just as Hester had instructed her to do. At the end of Tituba’s testimony, Parris congratulates her on a job well done, telling her, “you understood what we expected of you.” Tituba feels hatred for both Parris and herself.
This is the closest Tituba ever gets to becoming even a little “like them” (the hypocritical, oppressive white Puritans). Though she has saved herself from execution, Tituba has also to some extent betrayed herself, acting against Mama Yaya’s advice. That betrayal then causes her to feel a great deal of self-loathing.
Themes
Surviving vs. Enduring Theme Icon