Critical Essay Sample on I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem by Maryse Conde

Published: 2023-03-14
Critical Essay Sample on I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem by Maryse Conde
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  American literature Salem witch trials
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1393 words
12 min read

Conde is one of the Caribbean's most famous writers and perhaps the most powerful voice for women in contemporary American literature. The depiction of the Salem witch trials, an embodiment in her visions, is an excellent modern novel that recalls the dangers of discrimination in distinction vividly and compellingly. This wild and exciting novel broadens on a true story about Tituba, a witchcraft accused woman being arrested and forgotten in prison in Salem, Massachusetts. Maryse Conde takes out the darkness of the kind of experiences women undergo in the society and from this, constructs a revolutionary piece on how witches were treated. She transforms Tituba into a kind of an amazing heroine who is arrested for saving the families she holds, shouldered in the witchcraft and mystical rite of obeah. The novel positions itself to depict the nature of oppression that is aligned on religion, relationships and race and how it affects women in the society.

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Witchcraft is a term that gives rise to many meanings. Its definition, in many instances, is a wretched haggish woman who has some abilities granted to her from a pact with the devil. Sorcery must be evil deeds; punishing individuals for making their lives hell; making human beings frogs by using evil spells. However, this is true of everybody's idea of what witchcraft is. People believe that witchcraft can differ around societies. This is true for the story of Tituba ans her experiences. Some groups of people in this book have contradictory ideas of witchcraft which have led to the adverse treatment of women in the society. Throughout the story, Tituba is mistreated for her actions and often gets discriminated by society because of the kinds of things she could do.

In reality, Tituba was meant for healing through her gifts. Nevertheless, in any offence against her, the constant use of the term "witch" made her think about the meaning. Tituba says that in most cases she was confused about the meaning of the term and would often feel disdained by its usage. From her understanding, it was the capacity to connect with the spirit realm, to retain continuous relations to the deceased, to take care of others and to recover, a grander existence donation that encourages love, reverence and gratitude? So the witch should not be trusted instead of fear? (Conde 17). Tituba indeed was a kind soul, even though she was merely tentative, and her temptations easily misused her witchcraft gift with a strong drive for sex and a great desire for revenge. Sadly, when Mama Yaya's term was overlooked, she chose to use her abilities to right herself and to trigger illness for Susanna Endicott.

As Tituba's story unfolds, a strong, gentle young woman is revealed in a society that does not appreciate her efforts. For the reader, I, Tituba, Salem's Black Witch, reveals the life of Tituba, her loves, and losses. Her many female counterparts motivated her long and arduous lifespan, but her insatiable vulnerability is also hampered by her people, who also focus on life's truths. The story of Tituba is full of magic and mystery but also full of pain. The hand of the patriarchy, particularly those of white men, inflict most of the pain and suffering of Tituba's experiences throughout the story. Samuel Parris was Tituba's most influential disruptive white man in creation. As soon as Tituba is put in possession of Parris, his animosity against Negroes is distinctly quoted. He continues to gain power from racism and hides cowardly behind the religious mask at the same time. He views Tituba as being useless and incapable of a healthy, self-worthy and self-confident existence. The public ignores this violation of fundamental human rights due to its status as a Puritan white man.

Although it is more apparent that Samuel Parris's mistreatment of Tituba, her husband, John Indian, also betrays her. When Tituba meets John Indian for the first time, she is just captivated by the boldness of his speech and grin, and that is because she does not experience much interaction with men. Tituba realizes, after all, that she was soft, but her overwhelming love of her intelligence blinds her. Tituba's affection for her husband is so relentless that she cannot see his actual characteristics and how easily he would leave her for his own gains. John's deceit is evident after their arrest: "It seemed that she had formed a deal with my tormentors. He would not have been able to shout,' Ah, ah, Tituba is tormenting me! Yeah, my wife's a bruise!" (Conde 109). The deception of her husband is the last height of destructive nature of men and their impact on how Tituba lived. However, throughout the book, she endures and falls in love with men and eventually constraint her to kill herself.

When Tituba's life was composed of only relationship with men, her return to her native Barbados is unlikely to have lasted. Throughout her entire novel, she depends on the direction and encouragement of other women on opinions and how to handle situations. Mama Yaya is one of Tituba's most essential characteristics. She carries a child throughout her story in the novel and Mama Yaya instils strong values in Tituba, like the need for her to help everyone that suffers from her abilities. Sadly, Mama Yaya later leaves Tituba due to the influence of men and abandons this ethic. On the road to Salem, as Tituba is with John Indian, Mama Yaya betrays Tituba, and Abena argues with long-winded sighs about his daughter's vulnerability.

Hester is the only female person who keeps confidence in Tituba. Hester perseveres past the race of Tituba and accepts it as lovely. "Is her skin magnificent and her feel beautiful?" (Conde 95) Hester demonstrates to Tituba on ways to make a good impression and explains to her that certain compromises are forgivable based on her situation. Hester also helps to strengthen the awareness that life provides plenty of opportunities. Tituba is heartbroken and desolate when she goes to Ipswitch. Hester and his cell open their hearts for Tituba to give her the first signals that the hysteria around the Salem witch trials started. She has been through. Hester has a reputation unfazed by Tituba before her, who can observe the truly altruistic nature of Tituba.

Tituba's emotional stability is often controlled by her terms and confidence after her abominable imprisonment and the crippling characteristics of her husband. Tituba is known throughout the rest of her life and even as a ghost in her lifetime. The detrimental aspects of her husband reflect the shortcomings of Tituba's experiences despite Hester's efforts at educating Tituba of opportunities in life. In the novel John puts the urgency of a slave's life on Tituba. Such insults are discussed to Tituba on emergence in Susanna Endicott's property as Tituba experiences the facts of a coloured slave's experience in the society.

As discrimination in the 1600s was quite widespread, Tituba is restricted to its colour and sex. When interacting with more men than her female counterparts, this male-controlled culture is tolerant to the protection of women. It seems as though the pain will never stop for Tituba, a black female prostitute. She refers with Yao, and she secretly assumes Negroes will always be limited to her after moving to Barbados. Tituba says that she does not see any end to the suffering of slaves and black in the society at the time. (Conde 165)

Conclusively, I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem, is an almost fantastic work that shows the meaning shamelessly, regardless of race, for all who are reading it. Conde uses the book as a medium and Hester's role as his narrator to get his message home. She calls deeply for the equality of the black and white people. However, this is a purely partial interpretation and cannot be dismissed. An examination of such a literary work of large extent without balancing its weight and magnificence would not be rational. The life of Tituba is full of powerful impacts. Females inspired Tituba to do greater things as men pull her down solely with feebleness and ultimately contributing to her death. While trying to keep her solid morals and values, Tituba is introduced to reality, sometimes hard, truths. Conde can actively steer her literary work to kill biases effectively.

Works Cited

Conde, Maryse, and Richard Philcox. I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem. 2009.

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Critical Essay Sample on I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem by Maryse Conde. (2023, Mar 14). Retrieved from

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