by Arthur Miller
The Crucible Thomas Putnam Quotes
REBECCA: Pray, John, be calm. (Pause. He defers to her.) Mr. Parris, I think you'd best send Reverend Hale back as soon as he come. This will set us all to arguin' again in the society, and we thought to have peace this year. I think we ought rely on the doctor now, and good prayer.
MRS. PUTNAM: Rebecca, the doctor's baffled!
REBECCA: If so he is, then let us go to God for the cause of it. There is prodigious danger in the seeking of loose spirits. I fear it, I fear it. Let us rather blame ourselves and—
PUTNAM: How may we blame ourselves? I am one of nine sons; the Putnam seed have peopled this province. And yet I have but one child left of eight—and now she shrivels!
REBECCA: I cannot fathom that.
MRS. PUTNAM, with a growing edge of sarcasm: But I must! You think it God's work you should never lose a child, nor grandchild either, and I bury all but one? There are wheels within wheels in this village, and fires within fires!
PUTNAM, to Parris: When Reverend Hale comes, you should proceed to look for signs of witchcraft here. (I.246-252)
Rebecca Nurse suggests that they look inside themselves for answers to their problems, rather than blaming supernatural forces. But Mrs. Putnam is bent on finding justice, and she sees the supernatural as perhaps the only way to do so.
PUTNAM: Now look you, sir. Let you strike out against the Devil, and the village will bless you for it! Come down, speak to them—pray with them. They're thirsting for your word, Mister! Surely you’ll pray with them.
PARRIS, swayed: I'll lead them in a psalm, but let you say nothing of witchcraft yet. I will not discuss it. The cause is yet unknown. I have had enough contention since I came; I want no more. (I.125-126)
Thomas Putnam urges Parris to take spiritual control of the situation and show who is in charge. Parris agrees with him, but still wants to be cautious. He recognizes how the battle of good vs. evil can easily get out of hand. Parris is probably also influenced by Putnam’s wealth and power.