“I, Tituba: Black Witch of Salem” by M.Conde Book Review

I, Tituba: Black Witch of Salem is a novel by Maryse Conde based on historical events dated back to the end of the seventeenth century mixed with fiction to add drama to the plot. The representation of the events which took place in the novel is very close to the real ones of the Salem Witch Trials. The author explains the primary reason for witch hunting and eventual trial conduction. Maryse Conde tells the story from the name of Tituba, the black-skin girl who was accused of being a black witch just because of the color of her skin. Even though the history does not know much about her existence and actions, the author has told the whole story like using Tituba’s eyes and ears. Conde has raised significant problems existing in the society of those times, and to some extent she makes her readers rethink the place of a woman and her role in the modern one. She discusses the issues of mothering, race stereotyping, patriarchal order, religion, and many others which makes no wonder that Maryse Conde’s work gained the French Grand Prix for women literature.

Tituba’s character: why is it important?

The importance of Tituba’s character cannot be underestimated as she is the representative of the Caribbean peoples whose rights and freedoms were trampled by the white Christians who just came to their lands and decided to capture them. The majority of those people were enslaved and tortured. Women of that nationality were regularly raped, and unwanted children of mixed races were born and raised without the love of their mothers. The author widely use those facts while telling their stories which is necessary to understand the significance of the problems existing in the society and predetermining the conflict between the peoples which eventually led to the trial.

Tituba in the form of spirit takes the main part in the novel. In her situation, being a narrator of her story is another chance for living in different senses of this word. Tituba participates in the plot describing her position both incidentally and in a large thematic sense. For example, by participating incidentally, Tituba undermines the dominant Puritan and white Christian narrative. Thus, she explains the up-to-date definition of witch. Moreover, she claims that white Christians have created Satan and that Parris was the one. Tituba also wonders whether the Puritan obsession with Demons was the consequence of white Christians’ quilt for making the Blacks slaves and devastating the nation of Native Americans by genociding them (46-47). Via Tituba’s character, Conde displays the significance of the troubles which remain on the way of women of all nationalities and races, as well as black people in particular. Misunderstanding and the absence of desire to tolerate the differences between peoples, their religions, beliefs, traditions and so on is a large problem which exists till now.

The theme of power was brightly discussed in Maryse Conde’s work. I, Tituba: Black Witch of Salem has shown that religion was the primary force back then, everything unknown, strange and evil was displayed as Satan’s action or God’s punishment. As religious people, the Puritans attributed the loss of crops, livestock, the death of children, earthquakes, and bad weather to the wrath of God. According to the Puritans, a man from birth was predestined whether his soul should go to heaven or, on the contrary, to hell. The Puritans were looking for signs in the visible world that could indicate the will of God. In the invisible world, according to their faith, God and the angels dwelt, and also the Devil is a fallen angel, a hostile entity. However, Tituba sees Satan as the creation of white Christians because they have brought all those disasters to her peoples. Being a silent spirit, Tituba explains her audience that white Christians are evil as they do not respect other nations, religions, and traditions. They view hazard in everything they do not understand and which is not under their control. Thus, when seeing the changes in the society and peoples behavior, the which Christians decided to find the possible guilties and state that they were practicing black magic.

Men decided to accuse women of being witches because it was the most natural salvation of the problem. The patriarchal order created a situation in which women should be in complete subjection to men. In a small town, it was difficult to keep secrets, and the opinion of people about their neighbors was taken as an established fact. Children’s games and toys were considered useless and were forbidden, but additional restrictions were imposed on girls. Boys could hunt, fish, explore the woods, they often became students of carpenters and blacksmiths, while girls were taught to spin yarn, cook, sew, weave and generally be in the service of their future husbands and their children. It was also believed that women are more easily influenced by the Devil than men and that they are more lustful. The men realized that women could do much more than them. Moreover, they did not understand their abilities and capacities. This has led to the creation of myths and mystery surrounding females. Men were afraid of them becoming independent and free from the patriarchal order. Thus, the proclamation of some women witches was a necessity of that time order, so men did not lose their power over women in particular and society in whole.

All in all, the author displayed the power of people in their fear of the unknown, and the desire to maintain the strict order of the society. However, the particular elements that were shown by the author (songs) will remain in the minds and hearts of the peoples which makes it state that memory is another power given to Tituba. In a larger thematic sense, Tituba’s storytelling is a nice filler of the historical gaps. However, it works only as fiction. She helps the modern people remember and cherish the memories of those who were tortured, enslaved and killed during Salem Witch Trial. Even though, the people whose history is silent are still worthy of being remembered and honored. Thus, honoring Tituba and as a representative of her peoples can be perceived as a display of respect to the whole nation of Caribbeans who lived and suffered because of the barbarian laws of those times.

Works Cited

Conde, Maryse. I, Tituba: Black Witch of Salem. 1986

Pruitt, Sarah.5 Notable Women Hanged in the Salem Witch Trials. 2018. Retrieved from https://www.history.com/news/notable-women-executed-salem-witch-trials

The terms offer and acceptance. (2016, May 17). Retrieved from

[Accessed: June 30, 2022]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016.

[Accessed: June 30, 2022]

freeessays.club (2016) The terms offer and acceptance [Online].
Available at:

[Accessed: June 30, 2022]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: June 30, 2022]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: June 30, 2022]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: June 30, 2022]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: June 30, 2022]
close
Haven't found the right essay?
Get an expert to write you the one you need!
print

Professional writers and researchers

quotes

Sources and citation are provided

clock

3 hour delivery

person