What is the significance of this quote from The Crucible?"If Jacobs hangs for a witch he forfeit up his property- that's the law! And there is none but Putnam with the coin to buy so great a...

What is the significance of this quote from The Crucible?

"If Jacobs hangs for a witch he forfeit up his property- that's the law! And there is none but Putnam with the coin to buy so great a piece."

 

Asked on by bonnie754

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missy575 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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This quote is crucial to understand a very possible motivation behind the accusations for the witch trials. Giles Corey says this, and then says,

"This man is killing his neighbors for their land!"

Here's the situation. Giles has figured out that Putnam's daughter Ruth is the one who encouraged the conjuring of spirits by the girls that original night. Ruth was only doing so because she was told to by her mother because Tituba could maybe speak to the dead babies that Ann Putnam bore. After the girls corroborated on their lie and started accusing people, it is safe to assume that Ruth is still under the finger of her parents who could be giving her names of people to accuse that would benefit the Putnams and their land aspirations if those people were dead. Giles has put the final details together that George Jacobs land would be only able to be purchased after his death by one man in the town: Thomas Putnam. This quote's possible motivation for the entire tragedy of Salem is one on which the storyline hinges.

Good luck on your homework.

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