What is significant about the Putnams in The Crucible?

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pirateteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Putnam's are a prominent family in Salem, who while both coming from large families, they have only had one child, Ruth, survive.  While modern science can find reasons behind these losses, the Putnam’s believe the devil must have had something to do with.  Because of this, when Betty and Ruth fall ill, the Putnam's once again believe the devil must be at work in the village.  Goody (or Mrs.) Putnam admits that she has sent her only living daughter to Mr. Parris slave, Tituba, to conjure the spirits of her lost siblings in order to ascertain while they died.  Because she knows her daughter was conjuring spirits in the woods, the Putnam's believe both Betty and Ruth's illness are the doings of devil.