In The Crucible, to what does Tituba confess?

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accessteacher's profile pic

accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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At the frenzied end of Act I, Tituba is forced to confess through the combined pressure of Abigail and the Putnams, who believe totally that Tituba must be in league with the devil. Tituba, terrified by the pressure being placed on her and very well aware that as a slave she has no rights or protection, succumbs to their insistence and "confesses" to having dealt with the devil. Not only does Tituba confess to engaging in communication with the devil, but she also goes further than this and begins to point the finger towards other women:

And then he come one stormy night to me, and he say, "Look! I have white people belong to me." And I look--and there was Goody Good.

Tituba therefore confesses not only to her own involvement with the devil but begins a trend that dominates the subsequent witch hunts, as forgiveness is possible only when the accused names others who were involved with the devil as well. This of course has massive ramifications in this community.

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thetall's profile pic

thetall | (Level 3) Educator

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In Act one, there are rumors in Salem about witchcraft. Parris’ daughter seems unconscious, and Abigail, Parris’ niece, tries to explain their earlier activities in the forest. Parris discovered Abigail, Tituba, Betty and some girls dancing in the forest. Parris, as a church minister, was extremely irked by what he saw.

Abigail tried to convince his uncle that their activities in the forest were innocent and had no connection with witchcraft. However, Parris was still suspicious of the girls’ activities because he had seen Tituba waving her hands over a fire they had lit, a symbol of witchcraft. Parris also learned that Mrs. Putnam sent her daughter to Tituba in order to conjure up her dead siblings’ spirits and explain their deaths.

Upon further questioning by Parris, Abigail accused Tituba of conjuring spirits. Abigail further claimed that Tituba made them drink blood during Hale’s questioning. Tituba denied any involvement with the devil, but due to pressure from Hale and Parris, Tituba confessed to witchcraft.

Hale: You have confessed yourself to witchcraft, and that speaks a wish to come to Heaven’s side. And we will bless you, Tituba.

Tituba, deeply relieved: Oh, God bless you, Mr. Hale!

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