In what portion of The Crucible does Tituba think that the devil is going to take her?

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Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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At the beginning of act 4, Marshal Herrick enters the jail, where Tituba and Sarah Good are prisoners. Sarah Good, who is mentally unstable, stands up and tells Tituba that His Majesty, the devil, has come to take them away. Marshal Herrick then grabs Tituba and attempts to carry her out of the cell. Tituba resists and tells Herrick that the devil is coming to take her home any minute. As Marshal Herrick is dragging Tituba out of the cell, she begins yelling, "Take me home, Devil! Take me home!" (123).

Tituba has clearly suffered from the Salem witch trials and has completely lost her grasp of reality. She was the first one accused of witchcraft and was swept up in the hysteria along with the rest of the community. After openly confessing to colluding with the devil in Salem's court, Tituba has become mentally unstable and now begs the devil to take her home.

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McKinstry Rose eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Tituba says,

" 'Take me home, Devil! Take me home!' "

at the beginning of Act 4.  This is the first time since the end of Act 1 that she has lines in the play.  At this point, the helpless Tituba has been jailed up with Sarah Good for the duration of the trials.  She and Sarah Good are convinced that his "majesty" (the devil) is coming for them.  Sarah Good reportedly had some psychological issues before her imprisonment, but some critics believe that the jail time stole Tituba's sanity, for she is certainly sane at the play's opening.

Miller includes this version of Tituba at the end of the play for several reasons. First, Tituba's strange behavior and changed thinking symbolize how much the town has lost because of the trial (similar to Rev. Hale's list of the town's changes in Act 3). Secondly, Tituba might believe at this point that she has "sold her soul to the devil" because she falsely accused others in order to save herself.  While most audiences understand Tituba's behavior in Act 1, it most certainly would have weighed on her conscience that innocent people were perishing in part because of what she started. Finally, after hearing about and witnessing the reign of terror in her Puritan town, Tituba might have truly believed that the devil was coming for her and others.This would be a reasonable theory for her because the town had strayed so far from what they attempted to be.

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