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What does Reverend Parris see in the woods that start his suspicion of witchcraft in...

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trullydesireyou | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 1, 2013 at 10:44 PM via web

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What does Reverend Parris see in the woods that start his suspicion of witchcraft in The Crucible?

 

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e-martin | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted May 16, 2013 at 9:59 PM (Answer #1)

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Parris came upon the girls dancing in the forest and witnessed Tituba speaking in tongues. He reviews this information in the play's first scene as he is attempting to find a way to avoid a public disaster while also bringing Betty back to health. He is worried that other people will find out. 

When Abigail tells Parris that a group of people have gathered downstairs in the house and that he should go speak with them, his response is: 

"And what shall I say to them? That my daughter and my niece I discovered dancing like heathen in the forest?" 

When Abigail protests and denies wrong doing, Parris continues:

"I saw Tituba waving her arms over the fire when I came on you. Why was she doing that? And I heard screeching and gibberish coming from her mouth." 

These items describe what Parris saw and are his reason for suspecting that the girls were up to witchcraft or something like it in the woods. He does not want to believe that this what the girls were  doing, however, as witchcraft in his own family would reflect very poorly on him and jeopardize his position in Salem. 

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