Thomas Putnam plays a major role in the Salem witch hunt in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. Inheriting a handsome amount of property makes Putnam a wealthy person; however, it doesn’t seem to satisfy his ambition. After the town terribly rejected Putnam’s brother-in-law, Bayley, Putnam’s bitterness has increased. Finally his prodigious involvement in the relentless accusations places him in the center of the spot light, making him a salient character in both the play and the indignant period of the American history.
Thomas Putnam has a very large part in initiating the Salem witch hunt. He is the first character who blames unnatural causes for the illness among the children. Furthermore, he firmly believes in the existence of “vengeful spirits layin’ hands on these children”(15). “There is a murderous witch among us,” he vehemently cries out(16). His action isn’t surprising because he has lost seven newborns and his Ruth is sick. He wants to hunt down the witch, but he needs some aid. He lays his eyes on Parris because Parris is the minister and Betty is also ill. Thus, Putnam tries to coerce Parris to witchcraft. “Declare it yourself,” Putnam tells Parris, “you have discovered witchcraft”(16). At this point, Putnam captures everyone’s attention, and then he strikes.
Thomas Putnam is behind the accusations toward many people. “Did you ever see Sarah Good with him,” he questions Tituba, “or Osburn?”(46). With fear and panic, Tituba confesses she sees the Devil with them. Sarah Good and Osburn are insignificant in Salem. They certainly don’t satisfy Putnam’s fastidious demand, so he moves on to the next victim and eventually accuses Rebecca Nurse. “For murder, she’s charged! For the marvelous and supernatural murder of Goody Putnam’s babies”(71). Putnam truly stands out of the crowd this time. He is perhaps the...
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