How does Tituba first respond to Hale’s accusation of witchcraft in "The Crucible"? How does she change her response?

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sullymonster eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Reverend Hale arrives in town and goes about thoroughly interviewing the girls.  Although he is not accusatory, the girls are obviously still eager to avoid being considered guilty of any improper behavior.  Rather than being honest about what happened, Abigail quickly looks for a scapegoat, and finds one in Tituba.  She says that Tituba called the devil.

Tituba, who is a slave of Reverend Parris, flatly denies this accusation when first asked by Hale.  However, when Hales continues to question her, she becomes frightened, just as the other girls are.  She is in very real, physical danger, having even less rights than the girls do.  It gets worse when Abigail embellishes her own story, telling Hale that Tituba made her drink chicken blood and makes her laugh in church during prayer.  Abigail is eager to keep the focus on Tituba, and also starting to enjoy the new power she has found.

Tituba also jumps at the chance to point Hale in another direction and to have a scapegoat.  When Hale asks her to identify townspeople who were "with the devil", Tituba changes her story.  Instead of denying any involvement with devil worship, Tituba now just begins naming people - the first being Sarah Good and Goody Osbourne.

Her plan works.  With these names, and the additional names thrown on by Abigail and the other girls in a power-hungry frenzy, Hale has a whole new group of "evil-doers" to persue.