The Crucible Questions and Answers
by Arthur Miller

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In The Crucible, what do Putnam and Proctor argue about? Why is this significant? What could it foreshadow?

Putnam and Proctor argue about the appropriate way to proceed with an investigation of witchcraft. Putnam, who is quite superstitious, is convinced that witches are at work in Salem, while Proctor, who is quite rational, sees no evidence for such a claim. Proctor accuses Putnam of trying to manipulate the town to benefit himself, making Proctor a potential target of future accusations and malice. Putnam prevails on Parris while Proctor is ignored, foreshadowing the way he is eventually silenced.

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Mr. Putnam is convinced that there are witches in Salem, and he wants Reverend Parris to make an announcement to this effect and deal with the situation openly and publicly. Proctor, however, points out that Putnam is making claims for which there is no evidence: there are no children dying in the village, just a couple little girls who are acting strangely.

Further, Proctor fears that Putnam is simply attempting to manipulate the town...

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