Essay On Personal Rivalries In The Crucible

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It is 1692 in the small town of Salem, Massachusetts; fear and hysteria are running rampant. In The Crucible by Arthur Miller, the residents of Salem are allowing their grudges and personal rivalries to distract themselves from the truth. The witch trials are escalating, more and more people are being accused, and the tensions are high. The Putnams have different motivations and grudges that are driving the accusations. Ann Putnam is using the trials to harm the women she deems responsible for the deaths of her seven children. In contrast, Thomas Putnam is driven by his greed for wealth and land to accuse those he is envious of. A young girl, Abigail Williams, is a devious teenager seeking revenge on the innocent wife of her past lover.…show more content…
Mr. Putnam is a very wealthy and influential man in Salem. As a result of him being driven by power and wealth he uses the witch trials to his advantage. In the past, the Nurses and the Putnams have had disputes: “Thomas Putnam’s man for the Salem ministry was Bayley. The Nurse clan had been in the faction that prevented Bayley’s taking office” (Miller 27). Thomas Putnam would have gained power by having his choice for the Salem ministry chosen. He would gain status and the favor of the leader of Salem, but the Nurse family stood in his way. This incident sparked anger in Mr. Putnam against the Nurse family and now he is out for revenge and he is using the trials to get it. Another grudge he has against the Nurses is connected to land: “Another suggestion to explain the systematic campaign against Rebecca, and inferentially against Francis, is the land war he fought with his neighbors, one of whom was a Putnam” (Miller 27). The Putnams have a history of fighting over land with the Nurse family and this gives him a motive to go after them and their land. Putnam’s desire for land and wealth also gives him the motivation to take the land from the Nurse family in any way he can, including blaming them for witchcraft. This dispute is important because it gives motive to the Putnams and shows their determination to get what they want. The most crucial character to the play, Abigail Williams, uses the witch trials to get what she desires
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