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The Crucible: Tituba Quotes Video

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  • 0:03 Impressive Love
  • 0:58 A Forced Confession
  • 1:40 Pent-Up Animosity
  • 2:17 Nothing Left to Lose
  • 3:14 Take Me Home
  • 4:05 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Lauren Boivin

Lauren has taught English at the university level and has a master's degree in literature.

This lesson takes a look at some of the quotes from the character Tituba in Arthur Miller's 'The Crucible.' In this lesson, we will also examine how Miller uses Tituba and her words to make a statement.

Impressive Love

In Arthur Miller's play, The Crucible, Tituba is a slave who belongs to Reverend Parris, who lived for a while in Barbados and acquired Tituba there. When Parris moved to Massachusetts, he took her with him just like all of his other belongings. As a slave, she would have been given as much choice in the matter as a piece of furniture - none whatsoever.

Being a slave and having all your freedom taken away from you would be difficult enough without being forced to move from tropical Barbados to chilly Massachusetts, where one must endure harsh New England winters. Despite all of that, though, Tituba manages to find in herself plenty of love to give Betty and Abigail, Reverend Parris's daughter and niece. The first words we hear from Tituba in the play are expressions of concern for Betty, who lies ill in her bed: ''My Betty be hearty soon?'' she asks. Expressing concern and calling the child 'My Betty' shows us how much she cares about the child.

A Forced Confession

Sadly, Tituba is treated only with harshness and disdain despite her obvious love for the children. Parris shouts at her and chases her out of the room after she asks about Betty's health. Even Abigail turns on her, telling the assembled crowd that Tituba was responsible for witchcraft, causing Betty's illness. After trying to be sensible and honest, asking Abigail simply ''why you say that, Abby?'' Tituba is met with only more cruelty.

After Parris tells Tituba, ''You will confess yourself or I will take you out and whip you to your death!'' Tituba sees she has no other option. With no power and no freedom of her own, she has to do what the white people tell her to, so she tells them she has seen the Devil.

Pent-up Animosity

After being forced to confess to witchcraft, Tituba finds a little freedom in her speech. She is able to express some of her own feelings without any consequences because she tells everyone they are not her own thoughts, but the Devil's. ''Mr. Parris no goodly man,'' Tituba says the Devil told her, ''Mr. Parris mean man and no gentle man.''

We have seen for ourselves the things Parris has said and done, and we know that Tituba speaks the truth here. It must feel good for her to finally give vent to these feelings after years of enslavement! One can hardly blame her for making some use of this awful situation.

Nothing Left to Lose

After her forced confession, Tituba is taken away to jail. We don't see her again until the very end of the play. By this time, she has been sitting in a jail cell for a long time, suffering from cold, ill treatment, and poor food. She sees that she has nothing left to lose at this point - they will not kill her because she has confessed, and she is stuck in this jail no matter what she does, so she has a bit of fun. Through this fun, Tituba manages to put all of the Salem witch trials into perspective.

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