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Proctor and Rebecca Nurse represent reason in the play. Proctor feels that the situation is spinning out of control due to Parris's handling of the situation. Proctor and Parris have a turbulent relationship. Proctor finds Parris's demands for compensation outrageous, and hypocritical for a man of God. He is also not someone who hides his disdain well, so Parris is well aware of his dislike.
Rebecca feels that the situation is nothing more than silly girls rebelling. She feels if they do not pay too much attention that it will resolve itself on its own. Rebecca feels the girls are just putting on an act.
Rebecca and Proctor both realize that Hale's coming to Salem can only mean trouble. They are well aware that his arrival may fuel the hysteria brewing in Salem. Rebecca knows that it is just young girls either scared or playing a joke. Proctor, of course, knows that it was Abigail with the other girls foolishly playing in the woods. But once Hale arrives, the girls realize how dire their situation is, and they begin to invent the tales of witchcraft.
Proctor sets himself against Parris because he realizes Parris is greedy and self-serving. He stopped going to church when Parris harped on the congregation until they relented and raised enough money to purchase gold candle holders. For Proctor this is a waste and just serves to prove how greedy Parris really is.
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