Journal of South Texas English Studies


Imen Mzoughi

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2016


This paper aims to explore the complex layers of the trope of rebirth. It highlights the various levels on which the notion of rebirth operates in I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem by the Creolophone writer Maryse Condé (Guadeloupean, American and French). Indeed, Maryse Condé resurrects Hester Prynne, the protagonist of The Scarlet Letter written by 19th century American novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne. In so doing, Condé entails her rebirth. From this vantage point, Condé puts into effect a reversal in the main character’s fate to requestion the status of women in 19th century Puritan American society, a status deliberately put between parentheses denying them the right to speak and defend themselves against the accusation of adultery. Subsequently, this paper strives to find plausible answers to the following questions: Is Hawthorne’s underlying message (Had Hester sinned alone?) which is put between parentheses on page 71 within the narrative of The Scarlet Letter visible? Does his implicit message redeem Hester in his text? How does the characterization of Hester in I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem poeticize the trope of rebirth? Is the resurrection of a canonical character meant to creolize the American literary tradition?


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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.





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