Replaced Origins: Maryse Condé’s Moi, Tituba sorcière … Noire de Salem
Disturbed by the brief and dismissive mention, in historical accounts of the Salem witch craze, of Tituba as “a slave originating from the West Indies and probably practicing ‘hoodoo’” (ix), Maryse Condé undertakes in Moi, Tituba sorcière … Noire de Salem to “offer [Tituba] her revenge by inventing a life such as she might perhaps have wished it to be told” (Scarboro, “Afterward”: 199). Playing with the genres of autobiography, slave narrative, and historical novel, Moi, Tituba sorcière… offers the first person account of the life and death of Tituba. Like Ann Petry’s 1956 Tituba of Salem Village, Moi, Tituba sorcière … posits that Tituba’s presence in Salem was instrumental in both the “bewitched” girls’ and the ministers’ and judges’ ability to make their case for the manifest presence of the Devil among them.1Moi, Tituba sorcière … rewrites not only the history and literary depictions of witch trials, but also Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, and it includes not only Tituba’s version of the infamous events in Salem, but also her prior and subsequent life in Barbados.
KeywordsBlack Woman Unborn Child Caribbean Woman Slave Woman Scarlet Letter
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