- “***** slave” = undermines & makes her the lowest ranking person in society. During that time blacks seen as inferior. This is why later on in Act One Parris threatens to kill her = he has full control of her because he brought her over here
- Came to see Betty = shows love, which, when contrasted with her treatment by the others, evokes sympathy for her.
- “Very frightened…trouble in this house eventually lands on her back” = foreshadows that Tituba is going to be blamed.
- First stage direction “already taking a step backward” = no power in society even over a young girl.
- Enters room she is kicked out by Parris “Out of here!” = the demeaning way in which Parris treats her but stage directions shows that she already expects it.
Role in Play
- Inferior person in society – easiest to pick on & blame. Miller uses her to show how the disturbance initially began and this shows that there was in fact no basis for any of the accusations to be made in the first place. She's responsible for creating panic in society but the fact that the audience knows that she was forced into lying because of society’s pressure reflects how Miller believes in modern times, our fear of communism has no basis because it is the few powerful people in society that is creating the panic.
- First person in the play to take advantage of the situation she finds herself in: she abuses the trust that the others in the room suddenly place on her because of her fake confession in order to express her anger about Parris which would otherwise not have been permitted, the Devil acts as a barrier protecting her. Similarly, Miller believes that during the Communist witch hunt, people were using communism as a shield to reveal their anger towards others without any restraint.
“No, no, sir, I don’t truck with no Devil!”
She adamantly denies any association with the Devil and the repetition of “No” clearly signifies this. Moreover the use of the word “truck” signifies that she is a foreigner and this makes her an easy target to pick on. However the use of the exclamation mark reveals the vehement denial of any association between her and the Devil.
“Mister Reverend, I never –”
She has to respect others because of her low social status and the fact that she got interrupted further accentuates her inferior social status.
[terrified, falls to her knees] “No, no, don’t hang Tituba! I tell him I don’t desire to work for him, sir”
By falling down on her knees, she shows how she is submissive to the others in the room. As she is terrified that she is going to be hanged she makes up lies and claims to be working with the devil in order to escape from persecution.
“It was black dark, and I – ”
The audience is meant to realize that Tituba was simply making up that she had seen others working for the devil and this is the reason why she is unable to initially name people because in reality there are no other people.
[suddenly bursting out] “Oh, how many times he bid me to kill you, Mr Parris!”
Everyone in the room is listening to her and she has gained power to a certain extent and this clearly emphasizes that she is “suddenly bursting out” She is using this as an opportunity to express her derogatory comments towards Mr Parris because if she had done it anytime before, she would have been killed. Miller is thus using Tituba to reveal how people take advantage of situations to attack an enemy.