In 1692, countless innocent people were hanged, tortured, or stripped of their reputation because they were falsely accused of being a witch. They would have to falsely confess to save their lives, or else have their reputation be defaced. Arthur Miller shows the chaos of people constantly living in fear that their neighbor would become greedy, and falsely accuse them of being something that they were not. Miller does this through the book “The Crucible”. Motives of revenge, greed, and peer pressure contribute to the hysteria and hangings in the Salem Witch Trials.
Just one motive that contributed to the chaos was revenge. Many examples of revenge pop up throughout the book. It is human nature for a person to seek revenge for a wrongdoing of another person. Abigail seeks revenge for the Proctors, because of John marrying Elizabeth instead of Abigail, and Abigail follows through with her revenge by accusing Elizabeth of witchcraft. Putnam thinks he must get revenge on Goody Nurse. He feels this was because all of Goodie's land was sold to Giles Cory but was supposed to be given to himself, Thomas Putnam. Putnam believes that he must have more land than Giles and is determined to get revenge and also to get more land. He told his daughter to accuse George Jacobs of witchcraft, and he kills his neighbors for their land. Revenge wasn’t the only motive, another was greed, and greed was worse.
Greed is the motive that drives the story. Someone knowing that they could obtain your land simply by accusing you of witchcraft was irresistible....