The Crucible: Exploring The Character of Thomas Putnam

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About this sample


Words: 612 |

Page: 1|

4 min read

Published: Mar 6, 2024

Words: 612|Page: 1|4 min read

Published: Mar 6, 2024

Arthur Miller's play, "The Crucible," delves into the Salem witch trials of the late 17th century. Among the many complex and intriguing characters in this work, Thomas Putnam stands out as one of the most compelling. Putnam's role in the play is multifaceted and his motivations are nuanced, making him an intriguing character to analyze. This essay will examine Thomas Putnam's actions, beliefs, and relationships within the context of the play, in order to gain a deeper understanding of his character and the larger themes Miller explores.

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Thomas Putnam is introduced as a wealthy and influential member of the Salem community. His wealth and status give him a sense of entitlement, which is evident in his relentless pursuit of personal gain and power. Putnam's motivations are driven by a deep-seated desire for revenge and the belief that he has been wronged. This becomes apparent when he accuses others of witchcraft and uses the witch trials as a means to settle old scores.

One example of Putnam's vengeful nature is seen in his accusations against George Jacobs. Putnam claims that Jacobs has bewitched his daughter, Ruth, in order to acquire Jacobs' land. This accusation demonstrates both Putnam's desire for retribution and his willingness to manipulate the situation for his personal benefit. Furthermore, Putnam's actions reveal a broader pattern of using the witch trials to accuse those he views as enemies and to gain control over their property.

In addition to his vengeful nature, Thomas Putnam is a staunch believer in the supernatural. He attributes all misfortunes and tragedies that befall his family to witchcraft, rather than considering more rational explanations. Putnam's strong belief in the existence of witches fuels the hysteria that spreads throughout Salem, ultimately leading to the tragic consequences of the witch trials.

Putnam's belief in the supernatural is particularly evident in his relationship with Reverend Parris. The two men share a mutual trust and collaborate in their efforts to seek out and punish witches. Putnam's influence over the religious authority figure highlights the dangerous combination of wealth, power, and superstition, demonstrating the potential harm that can arise when individuals exploit their beliefs for personal gain and vengeance.

Thomas Putnam's relationships with other characters in the play further illustrate his complex character. His marriage to Ann Putnam is marred by grief and loss, as they have lost multiple children. Putnam's obsession with finding a scapegoat for their misfortunes feeds into his vengeful nature and perpetuates the cycle of accusations in Salem.

Furthermore, Putnam's relationship with his daughter, Ruth, is strained by his exploitation of her condition for personal gain. He uses her alleged bewitchment as a means to accuse others and gain control over their property. This manipulation of his own family member reiterates the theme of greed and the destructive power it holds.

Thomas Putnam's character serves as a cautionary tale of the dangers of unchecked power, greed, and vengeance. He represents the destructive consequences that can arise when individuals allow their personal desires to overshadow reason and compassion. Putnam's actions and beliefs in "The Crucible" serve as a microcosm of the larger themes explored by Arthur Miller - the danger of mass hysteria, the erosion of individual liberties, and the tyranny of those in power.

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The character of Thomas Putnam in "The Crucible" is a multidimensional and multifaceted figure. His vengeful nature, staunch belief in the supernatural, and manipulative relationships contribute to the tragic events that unfold in Salem. Through the exploration of Putnam's character, we gain valuable insights into the themes of power, greed, and the destructive force of mass hysteria. Arthur Miller's portrayal of Thomas Putnam serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of upholding reason, justice, and compassion in the face of adversity.

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Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

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The Crucible: Exploring the Character of Thomas Putnam. (2024, March 06). GradesFixer. Retrieved June 22, 2024, from
“The Crucible: Exploring the Character of Thomas Putnam.” GradesFixer, 06 Mar. 2024,
The Crucible: Exploring the Character of Thomas Putnam. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 22 Jun. 2024].
The Crucible: Exploring the Character of Thomas Putnam [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2024 Mar 06 [cited 2024 Jun 22]. Available from:
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