The days of heavy rains had ended, replaced by unremitting days and nights of bone-rattling cold. Inside the parsonage, Tituba fought whipsawing emotions, trying to keep her thoughts from plunging into deepest despair. Just concentrate on what is right in front of you. When an avalanche of dark emotions loomed, rather than allowing them to frighten her, Tituba let them come, and shortly they melted away.
In their place came a starkly clear awareness. All the terrors she had spent a lifetime suppressing were not caused by her. Not one of them. She was innocent of her mother’s murder in Africa and the horror she had endured during the voyage to Barbados; the captivity of callous insensitive masters, the whippings, the perpetual servitude, and the long estrangement from Mama.
The true cause was the unrelenting need of the English to control others.
She would no longer appease men such as Parris, men who prized hard-heartedness to carve out their paradise, willing to sacrifice kindness in service of their pitiless god. They understood unrelenting cruelty, and she would give it to them.
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