The easiest evidence that another resolution was possible is found early in the play. If Reverend Parris' daughter had not fallen ill, he would not have been unbalanced by his worry and grief, and there would be little reason to be concerned about the "witchcraft." This would have drained the energy, and deflected much of the conflict. Another way to ward it off would have been for Parris to have given up earlier. If he'd left, the community might have gotten another clergyman they liked better. In the character descriptions for Act I, Thomas Putnam's background indicates a number of changes that would have reduced his involvement, making a calmer resolution more likely.