Who lost seven babies in The Crucible?

In The Crucible, Ann Putnam is the one who lost seven children; all of them died on the day they were born. Ann's only living child is her daughter, Ruth.

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Set in seventeenth-century Salem, Massachusetts, The Crucible is a 1953 play written by famed American playwright and essayist Arthur Miller. In act 1 of The Crucible , the audience is introduced to the Putnams. Ann Putnam is a wealthy woman who loves to gossip and exaggerate, especially when she's...

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Set in seventeenth-century Salem, Massachusetts, The Crucible is a 1953 play written by famed American playwright and essayist Arthur Miller. In act 1 of The Crucible, the audience is introduced to the Putnams. Ann Putnam is a wealthy woman who loves to gossip and exaggerate, especially when she's determined to prove a certain point. Sadly, Ann has given birth to eight children, but seven of them died on the day the were born, and she's sure some sort of supernatural cause is to blame. Her only surviving child is her daughter, Ruth, a sickly girl who joins Abigail and the rest of her group in accusing various townspeople of witchcraft.

Near the beginning of the play, Ann admits to sending Ruth to Tituba, a slave woman who is thought to have unnatural powers. Through Tituba, Anne hoped to communicate with her seven dead children and find out who is responsible for their deaths. When Rebecca Nurse expresses shock at Ann's admission, Ann snaps at her: "Let God blame me, not you, not you, Rebecca! I‘ll not have you judging me any more!"

It is implied that Ann, obsessed with finding the "culprit" responsible for the death of her children, is behind the allegations against Rebecca Nurse. Rebecca—who has eleven healthy children, twenty-six grandchildren, and a happy marriage—is an obvious source of jealousy for Ann Putnam, and despite Rebecca's impeccable reputation, she's falsely accused of and eventually executed for the "marvelous and supernatural murder of Goody Putnam's babies."

Though The Crucible follows the story of the Salem witch trials of the late-seventeenth century, Miller actually wrote the play as a response to the "Red Scare" of the 1950s, when the American government persecuted and investigated supposed communists in what is now seen as a modern "witch hunt." The tension between Ann Putnam and Rebecca Nurse demonstrates how mass hysteria can be exploited to settle personal rivalries.

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