Witchcraft in Bless Me, Ultima and I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem: A Comparison and Contrast

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1. Witchcraft in Bless Me, Ultima and I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem: A Comparison and Contrast By Mason Knighten 5/7/19 2. Major Points for Bless Me, Ultima  Goes by…
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  • 1. Witchcraft in Bless Me, Ultima and I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem: A Comparison and Contrast By Mason Knighten 5/7/19
  • 2. Major Points for Bless Me, Ultima  Goes by the title of “Curandera”  More grounded to the land  Has a sort of communion or partnership with animals
  • 3. Major Points for I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem  Called a “rootworker”  Has no ties to certain areas Able to move to new locations  Appearance of apparitions
  • 4. Major Points for their Comparison  Both draw from nature  Both use their knowledge to heal others  Both roles are usually filled by women  Both were taught by mentors
  • 5. Curandera A curandera is a native healer that typically resides in Spain or Latin America, and specializes in using folk remedies. In Bless Me, Ultima, curandera is treated as a type of title.
  • 6. Bless Me, Ultima: The Land According to the novel, A curandera seems to be tied to the land they grew up on. This is vital for them to know what resources they have to work with for their remedies.
  • 7. The Owl In the novel, Ultima is shown to have a special connection to her owl. Serving in a capacity similar to that of a “familiar,” Ultima dies soon after the death of her owl.
  • 8. Rootworking Rootworking, also sometimes called Hoodoo, is where one works with the natural energies of herbs and roots to bring about a certain outcome. It can be both a person and an action, as opposed to the title “curandera.”
  • 9. Freedom of Movement In I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem, Tituba is not limited to one place for her to use her magic. Her location is changed several time throughout the novel.
  • 10. Apparitions Throughout the novel, apparitions appear to Tituba. Usually figures of her past, they follow her and offer some reassurance. Tituba eventually becomes an apparition herself at the end of the book.
  • 11. Use of Nature Both books see Ultima and Tituba use their knowledge of any local flora and fauna. This knowledge allows them both to create their folk remedies.
  • 12. Healing Both novels have Tituba and Ultima heal other individuals using their knowledge in medicine. While Ultima heals Antonio, Tituba heals Elizabeth Parris.
  • 13. Women in Healing The roles and professions of curanderas and rootworkers, along with similar roles, are typically filled by women. There are the occasional exception to this however. An example of this would be found in Ultima’s teacher.
  • 14. Mentors The knowledge that Ultima and Tituba both have were not self- taught. Their knowledge and skills are typically passed down from mentor to student. Tituba found a mentor in Mama Yaya while Ultima’s mentor was an unknown man who also gave her the owl.
  • 15. References Anaya, Rudolfo A. Bless Me, Ultima. Grand Central Publ., 2013. Condé Maryse. I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem. University Of Virginia Press, 2009.
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