Why Does Abigail Accuse Tituba

Why does Abigail accuse Tituba of conjuring the devil?


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renelane eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Tituba was taken from her homeland where spirits and spells were not considered evil or sinful. Abigail and the other girls of this community are fascinated by Tituba's tales of "witchcraft". When Tituba take sthe girls out in the woods, Abigail is especially in the spirit and participates in the ceremony. While she was in the moment, she wasn't concerned. But once more and more girls were becoming hysterical, Abigail knew that soon her "sinful" behavior would come out. It was easy to blame Tituba, since not only was she a slave, but the mysteries of her culture would come to make it seem plausible that she was to blame.

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Children in Puritan Massachusetts were to be seen and not heard. The adults totally controlled their lives. The girls were sent to work in the homes of couples with children so they could learn how to be a good wife and mother. They were given no pay and were sometimes treated unkindly. Abigail knows that the penalty for dancingĀ  and conjuring in the woods is at the minimum a public whipping, but it could also be worse, such as accusing the girls of performing witchcraft. This really scares the girls since it is a "hanging offense". As some people tend to do when they're trouble, Abigail tries to lie her way out of trouble. When the questioning becomes harsher, she puts the blame on Tituba since she's a black slave, and no one will believe her over the girls. This is typical human nature. When we get into trouble, we always try to blame it on someone else, and this is what Abigail does. She doesn't realize at the time how far things will go, but she enjoys the power over adults so much that she allows innocent people to die.

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