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In The Crucible, who is Tituba and what is her relationship to the family?

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kr52 | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 7, 2008 at 11:05 AM via web

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In The Crucible, who is Tituba and what is her relationship to the family?

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katemschultz | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted September 7, 2008 at 11:25 AM (Answer #1)

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Tituba is Reverend Parris' black slave from Barbados. She genuinely cares about the girls, especially Betty, who Tituba asks about in the beginning of the play. Tituba is known to be skilled in Voodoo as it is practiced in her native country. Tituba was the one who was leading the girl in conjuring the devil when they were caught in the woods. Much of the blame is laid upon Tituba and she end up in jail because of it.

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robertwilliam | College Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted September 7, 2008 at 10:23 PM (Answer #2)

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Tituba is not actually a member of the family - so does not have a relationship to them in terms of blood, but Parris' black slave and a native of the island of Barbados. She seems to have been responsible for the girls as a "nanny" and she certainly cares for them all deeply.

Culturally, Tituba is extremely superstitious, and (in fact) does lead the girls in the dance that precipitates the events of the play as we see them. Tituba is also rather inarticulate, speaking mainly in a strong dialect, and quickly and easily dismissed by the supposedly more "cultured" court. Of course, in fact, they are behaving just as superstitiously as she is. 

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