In Arthur Miller's play "The Crucible," do you consider Parris is to blame for Proctor's death?

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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One could consider Reverend Parris partially to blame for the death of John Proctor in Arthur Miller's play "The Crucible." Essentially, Parris despises many of the villagers of Salem. He finds it incomprehensible that he must work for the pay that he does (which he considers low--not to mention that his firewood money is already considered part of his pay) and that the villagers do not respect him as a man of the cloth.

That being said, Parris can be considered partially responsible for the death of Proctor for two reasons: his calling of Hale and his questioning of Proctor's religious beliefs.

First, Parris is the one responsible for calling Hale to Salem. Hale is known for finding a witch in his own community. Given that he has had experience with "witches," Parris believes that Hale may be able to flush out the witches of Salem. Given Proctor is involved with defending his wife and neighbors, Parris is responsible for the fact that Proctor's affair comes out.

Second, Parris has a grudge with Proctor. Not only has Proctor had an affair (against Puritan and Christian law), he has angered Parris. Therefore, Parris wants to make an example of Proctor.

Based upon both of these reasons, Parris could be found partially responsible for Proctor's death.


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