The Crucible

by: Arthur Miller

Five Key Questions

Summary Five Key Questions

3) Why did Tituba confess to dancing with the Devil?

As a slave, Tituba had no status in Salem. Parris could have legally beaten her to death to try to get her to confess. So while we don’t have direct knowledge of her thoughts, we can infer that having realized how dire her situation was, she concluded that it was better to give the townspeople what they wanted by confessing to something she did not do. She ended up in jail, but at least she was not beaten to death. She hates John Parris, who was cruel to her, and she uses her confession to scare him by telling him that the Devil told her “Mr. Parris no goodly man.” In her confession, Tituba says the Devil offered to fly her back to Barbados, an opportunity for Tituba to be released from slavery and returned to her home, which she misses terribly. Once she’s decided to confess to something she didn’t do, Tituba indulges the fullness of her fantasy, which ironically makes her confession seem very convincing in its detail and anger.