This is my thesis: The authors of The Dragon Can't Dance and I, Tituba, the Black Witch of Salem juxtapose hyper-sexualized women and cold, unpleasant women with each other to show how women are viewed in Caribbean society. I need help finding textual evidence of this in I, Tituba, the Black Witch of Salem in two different characters. 

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I agree that this is an interesting topic, and I might caution the labeling of women in this society as either "hyper-sexualized" or "cold" because the terms can have negative connotations, and I don't think Maryse Conde's message regarding women is negative given that the novel is a feminist, revisionist text.  That said, as noted above, the references to sexuality are most prominent in the relationship between Hester and Tituba.  At the end of Chapter 7, Tituba thinks about this relationship:

That night Hester lay down beside me, as she did sometimes.  I laid my head on the quiet water lily of her cheek and held her tight.  Surprisingly, a feeling of pleasure slowly flooded over me.

Here, Tituba remarks on her strong feelings for Hester and the warmth that this relationship brings.  But this relationship is juxtaposed with the "cold" women around them who do not have a sense of camaraderie with each other.  For example, at the beginning of Chapter 6, Sarah Good is marched off, and she turns to Tituba to yell, "'I prefer my fate to yours, you know!'"  In this line, there is no sense of sorrow or empathy.  In this society, the women are pitted against each other, and the tension is seen in how the women relation to each other.

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What an interesting topic and thesis! 

The hyper-sexualization of women that occurs within the book is similar to how it occurred in the real world of the 17th century - women who had sex outside of marriage were considered hyper-sexual.

Several of the women in I, Tituba fit this bill, but let's look at Tituba and Hester. Both of these women have sex outside of marriage at some point and become pregnant as a result. Unfortunately, sex outside of marriage can and often did also include non-consensual sex (rape). In the case of Abena and Tituba we see that each has experienced this, as well. Women were expected to adhere to very strict roles within their community, including being models of faith and morality, and those who did not conform faced severe repercussions.

"In the late 1600s, trials for fornication and infanticide specifically directed at women increased"(Gender Roles in Colonial America).

An analysis of how society viewed Tituba or Hester as a hyper-sexualized woman would be appropriate, as their behavior and relationships with men in the novel could have caused them to be viewed as such.

Abena could be analyzed as a cold and unpleasant woman, or at least mother, in her relationship with Tituba. Because Tituba is the product of a rape, Abena cannot look at her daughter without connecting her to the way in which she was conceived. In fact, Abena does not really begin to enjoy any part of life much until Yao shows her love and she grows to love him back, but even this is short-lived. Her relationship with Tituba, however, is not close, affectionate, or loving. In many ways, both Abena and Tituba are victims of Abena's rape.


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