In Salem's patriarchal Puritan society, women do not occupy positions of authority and are expected to be passive, quiet, and obedient. Women are oppressed individuals and expected to live up to a certain moral standard or risk their reputations. There are numerous examples throughout the play where women are portrayed as less powerful in Salem's community. In act one, Reverend Hale arrives and Abigail confesses that Tituba was conjuring spirits in the forest. As a black female slave, Tituba has no rights and is a voiceless individual with no authority. When Reverend Hale begins to question her about being in contact with the devil, Tituba vehemently denies the accusation and Reverend Parris says,
You will confess yourself or I will take you out and whip you to your death, Tituba! (Miller, 44)
Reverend Parris's comment illustrates Tituba's powerless status in Salem's community, where she is completely subjected to the will of distinguished men like Reverend Parris.
Miller once again...
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