In The Crucible, who are Ann and Thomas Putnam?

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price7781 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Thomas and Ann Putnam are wealthy landowners in Salem and become directly involved in the witchcraft trials when they start accusing people of being witches.  Thomas Putnam accuses neighbors that surround his farm so he can take their land from them.  He also has a grudge against Francis Nurse who he claims prevented Thomas's brother-in-law from becoming the town minister.  Ann Putnam is just as sinister as her husband, Thomas.  Ann accuses Goody Nurse of being a witch when she makes wild claims and tries to justify why seven of her children died in childbirth or as young infants.  Rebecca Nurse was the mid-wife to Ann Putnam during the births, and Ann uses Rebecca as a scapegoat.  Ann Putnam stresses in her accusations that none of Rebecca Nurse’s children died; and therefore, she feels that the devil worked through Rebecca to kill her children.

Both Thomas and Ann represent all that was wrong with Salem during the witch trials.  Their greed for more land and power and the need to reconcile their culpability in their children’s deaths caused them to strike out at others.