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In Act I, Putnam and Proctor argue about quite a few things when they are all in Parris' house. Most of these arguments include Parris. But the one argument that is pretty much just between the two of them is the argument over the wood that Proctor says he's going to drag home.
They are arguing over whether the forest the wood comes from belongs to Proctor or to Putnam.
To me, this shows that Putnam is motivated largely by greed. Later on, we'll see that a lot of people who get accused of witchcraft are people who have economic disputes with Putnam. I think this is meant to show how grasping he is -- how he wants to get rich even if it means taking stuff from others.
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