Books and Movies Reviews

Tituba

In the strict Puritan villages of Massachusetts Bay Colony in the late 1600s, people were uneasy about strangers and strange behavior.Puritans worried about the "evil eye", where a sudden illness or death of a pig was commonly misconstrued for "devil's work". It was a place where anyone different was not trusted – and Tituba was perhaps the most different among them. Not only was she a slave, which was unusual in the area, she was also a dark-skinned foreigner, setting her apart from the white Puritan villagers.
Thefirst witch accused in the Salem Witch Trials was an Indian slave named Tituba. She was one of thefirst three women accused of witchcraft, and the only member of this unfortunate trio to survive the year. Samuel Parris, a merchant from Salem, brought her from mysterious Barbados, an island in the Caribbean Sea. Everyone in Salem had heard the seamen’s tales of voodoo and black magic on Barbados, of evil spells and strange ceremonies. This was a leading factor to the gossip and distrust that often surrounded her. She maintained the Parris;s household with daily chores, and took after their children.
For amusement, Tituba began telling stories to the two young girls she took care of, nine-year-old Elizabeth Parris and her 11-year-old cousin Abigail Williams. Tituba performed magic tricks for the girls and excited them with tales of magic and spells. Such activities were strictly forbidden by Puritan code. But word secretly spread among the neighborhood girls, and soon a small group of girls-known as the ;circle girls;-were joining Tituba around the fire.
In late February of 1692, Reverend Samuel Parris called in a doctor to examine his nine-year-old daughter, Betty, and eleven-year-old niece, Abigail Williams-both of whom were suffering from spontaneous fits. The children were soon diagnosed as victims of witchcraft, which set off an outbreak of panic and hysteria throug…

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