– I Tituba, Black Witch Of Salem Essay, Research Paper

“Witchcraft-the power or practices of witches” Webster’s New World Dictionary.Witchcraft is a term which sprouts many different meanings. As stated above, it is attributed to witches. But what is a witch? Probably an evil haggish-like women who has signed a pact with the devil if we think of it in the English sense. So witchcraft must be evil doings; putting curses on people to make their life miserable, using wicked spells to transform humans to frogs etc. But does this hold true to everyone’s idea of what witchcraft is.People’s believes on the subject of witchcraft might differ between different cultures. Such is the case in the tragic story “I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem” by Maryse Conde. Certain groups and individuals in the book, have contradicting thoughts of witchery.”I can not describe the effect this unfortunate black cat had on the children, as well as on Elizabeth and Samuel. Samuel Parris seized his prayer book and began to recite a seemingly endless prayer.”pg 44 This is how sensitive the Puritans were. Their fear of the Devil is so great, it hindered them of pleasures and entertainments since these are also elements which they believed are inherited from the Satan thus making them sinful. “Becareful, Tituba! Don’t let them dance! Don’t let them dance!”pg 48 Fearing Tituba would conduct a sin for the children, Elizabeth Parris exclaimed her warning. If they are so overwhelmed with the terror of Evil, then what would their response be if they discovered his assistants; the “witches” who signed a pact with the devil to help him bring hellish deeds among the people in return for promised benefits. These ugly, wicked ladies who hide in the daytime readying their caldron of boiling potion containing frogs, bats, mouse, poison mushrooms etc. for the night when they fly on broomsticks performing nasty spells, claiming victims by curses and evil plagues.Tituba, the main character, was identified and accused of being a witch. “Help me, Tituba, to find the person who has done me wrong and punish him. Let his firstborn, if there is one, perish from something like smallpox. If there isn’t a child yet, may his wife never bear one! I know you can do it! Everyone says you are the most awesome of witches!”pg 86 This is what the residents in Salem led to think of Tituba. But was she really a witch, or was she evil like how the Puritans viewed them? Did she use her power to harm people or to comfort people? Did her actions strike sickness or to cure them? Of course the purposes of her talents were for healing which was what Tituba excelled in. But the constant use of the word “witch”, in offense against her, made her ponder for the meaning. “What is a witch? I noticed that when he said the word, it was marked with disapproval. Why should that be? Why? Isn’t the ability to communicate with the invisible world, to keep constant links with the dead, to care for others and heal, a superior gift of nature that inspires respect, admiration, and gratitude? Consequently, shouldn’t the witch be cherished the revered rather than feared?”pg17 Tituba was indeed a good soul, although she was easily tempted. With a drive for sex and a great desire for vengeance, her temptations easily led her to misuse her gift of witchcraft. Ignoring Mama Yaya’s word, she decided to use her skills to right herself and bring sickness upon Susanna Endicott who mistreated her. Unlike Mama Yaya, Tituba had doubts on the right or wrong usage of witchcraft. “Knowledge must adapt itself to society. You are no longer in Barbados among our unfortunate brothers and sisters. You are among monsters who are set on destroying us.”pg 68 Is using witchcraft to punish the evil considered moral? It is karma?K?K?K Isn’t it?Tituba’s power was beyond the limit of just dealing with herbs and summoning the spirits of the invisible world. On her voyage back to Barbados, she performed an astounding feat. She called upon the spirits of the natural forces to bring her wind. Although she was forced to do this, she was quite proud. Proud enough to promise Christopher’s request to make him invincible. She was endeavored to cross the border; to discover arcane knowledge which would disturb the balance of nature and fate. “I now devoted my time to experiments of my own makings, roaming the countryside armed with a large bag and a small knife for digging up herbs.”pg 148 Although she strive hard at it, she was never able to succeed the impossible.


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