by Arthur Miller
Thomas Putnam is a greedy man who urges Reverend Parris to be strong and face up to the witchcraft in their midst. He uses his daughter to accuse people whose property he covets. Miller, and most historians, believed that many of the accusations of witchcraft were based on these sorts of greedy, selfish desires. Perhaps Miller intended audiences to see parallels between Putnam and individuals in Miller's own time who were accusing people of being communists for equally selfish and petty reasons (learn more in "Cold War: McCarthyism and the Red Scare").