In Act One of The Crucible, why are both Mrs. Putnam and Abigail interested in Tituba's conjuring?

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scarletpimpernel | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Abigail is interested in Tituba putting a curse on Elizabeth Proctor to get her out of the way, leaving John Proctor for Abigail.  The villainess is very protective of this information because she knows that if the town's leaders discover that she is such a manipulative, scheming girl, she would have no chance to get out of the trouble in which she finds herself at the play's beginning.  Abigail actually threatens the other girls with violence if they tell the truth about what happened in the forest.

Mrs. Putnam, on the other hand, demonstrates the hypocrisy of many of Salem's church members.  She is one of the first to cry witchcraft against others, but she sends her daughter Ruth to Tituba to see if the slave can communicate with Mrs. Putnam's dead babies.  It is interesting that Mrs. Putnam finds sympathy when she discloses this information, but that she and her husband are without sympathy for their neighbors and church "friends."

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