What are the examples of lust for money and power surpassing the moral and good thing to do in The Crucible? 

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accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are quite a few key characters that you could use to answer this question. The most obvious one perhaps is Thomas Putnam, who was famous for using the Salem Witch Trials as a way of gaining more land and also enriching himself and bolstering his position of power in the community. Giles Corey is very astute in his analysis in Act III of how the mechanics of this works: Putnam gets his daughter to cry witchery against a member of the community and then he is able to gain their land under conditions that are incredibly advantageous to himself.

Miller's introductory description of his character indicates the he is one of the prime vehicles for Miller's suggestion that the Witch Trials had more to do with greed and petty rivalries than anything else. Note the way in which Miller comments upon the key role that Thomas Putnam played in the Witch Trials, after presenting him as a petty man driven by greed and jealousy:

So it is not surprising to find that so many accusations against people are in the handwriting of Thomas Putnam, or that his name is so often found as a witness corroborating the supernatural testimony, or that his daughter led the crying-out at the most opportune junctures of the trials...

Putnam is shown to be a character who used the Witch Trials to settle old scores and also to enrich and strengthen himself in the society, and Miller clearly condemns his character through the way that Putnam is always shown to be a self-serving individual who acts as an appropriate foil for other characters such as John Proctor.

You might also want to consider how Parris could be another character you could use to answer this question through his desire for the silver candlesticks, as Proctor explains to us in Act II.

floorhockeyrox | Student

Parris was more upset that Abagail took most of his money than anything else at the end of the play instead of worrying about her well being