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In "The Crucible", how does Miller characterize Parris? How does Parris feel about...

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kolay | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted May 10, 2009 at 7:14 PM via web

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In "The Crucible", how does Miller characterize Parris? How does Parris feel about parishoners?

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dneshan | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted May 10, 2009 at 9:51 PM (Answer #1)

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In “The Crucible”, Arthur Miller characterizes Reverend Parris as a man who is more concerned with his own reputation than anything else.  His daughter is seemingly bewitched, yet all he seems to worry about is whether or not he will be overthrown while he takes the time to argue over land and money with John Proctor, Giles Corey, and Thomas Putnam in Act 1 of the play.  While questioning his niece about what happened in the woods, he is also worried about reputation when he questions her own, thinking that any bad reputation on her part would fall back on him.  Additionally, when the Putnams begin to lay the blame of Betty and Ruth’s sicknesses on witchcraft, Parris refuses to allow this information to leave his house because he thinks that since it began in his house that he will be blamed and overthrown from his position as Salem’s reverend.  Parris fears his congregation because he knows that they have the power to get rid of him, therefore everything that he does seems to be more to appease the congregation than to help his own family in such horrendous situations.  Parris is self-centered, egotistical, and money-hungry and worries more about what other people think of him than about what he can do to help out in the situation.

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