An Analysis Of Maryse Conde 's Book I, Tituba, Black Witch Of Salem

927 Words Nov 7th, 2016 4 Pages
Maryse Condé’s revisionist novel I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem, aims to expose the bigoted society of Salem and wrote this story based on a “witch’s” testimony by a woman with the name “Tituba”. The records of the actual Salem Witch Trials have little information about the historical Tituba, showing how unimportant the officials of Salem considered her. Conde’s character, however, was not highly regarded, essentially being a nonperson to the white settlers of Salem. Her skin color, religious beliefs and practices, all terrified the Puritans and they consequently blamed her for all their problems. Maryse Condé, in I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem, utilizes religious imagery and the changing views of Tituba, in her descriptions of Salem and its inhabitants and in doing so, reveals the racism, sexism, and hypocrisy of their puritanical society. The opening line of the novel describes how Tituba’s mother, Abena, conceived Tituba, being “raped by an English sailor on the deck of Christ the King one day in the year 16 while the ship was sailing for Barbados” (3). The religious imagery in the ship’s name “Christ the King” shows a dichotomy of ideas and values, and reveals some of the hypocrisy of the religious English settlers. The fact that this act of violence is the origin of the main character, Tituba, shows a reoccurring theme of “hatred and contempt” among white settlers towards blacks because the main character is the living embodiment of a rape, an act of cruelty and…

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