In "The Crucible", what can you deduce from the fact that Ann Putnam sent Ruth to conjure with Tituba?

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lizbv eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Ann Putnam's action of sending her daughter to conjure spirits serves to enforce the underlying element of hypocrisy that many of the characters try to hide, yet all seem to display in some way.  Ann Putnam's hypocrisy is clear in that she is one of the townspeople accusing her neighbors of witchcraft (specifically Rebecca Nurse who she believes killed her babies when she acted as midwife for their births), yet we learn that she had purposely sent her daughter to conjure spirits with Tituba to learn why her babies had died. Her husband's actions also take tihs hypocrisy a step further in that it seems he was prompting his daughter to accuse others of trying to bewitch her so that, upon their deaths, he could take their land and increase his wealth.

katemschultz eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Ann obviously knew what the girls were doing and didn't tell anyone about it--causing her to be just as guilty as the girls are. In the beginning of the play, Ann adopts a "holier-than-thou" attitude--showing herself to be a good and true Puritans. When it is revealed that she knew of what the girls were doing and tried to use it to her advantage (therefore trusting in the powers of witchcraft rather than her faith), her true hypocrisy is revealed.

jeff-hauge eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Putnam family was opposed to the placement of Parris as minister three years prior to this action. Some versions of the play include the parenthetical notes saying that the previous minister was jailed. He was jailed for the failure to repay the debt of a loan he owed the Putnams. He was forced to borrow money to pay for the burial of his wife. This fact shows a side of the Putnams that is clever, devious and manipulative.