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What causes the conflict between John Proctor and Reverend Parris?

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myaee | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 27, 2009 at 12:43 PM via web

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What causes the conflict between John Proctor and Reverend Parris?

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teamocatherine | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 27, 2009 at 1:19 PM (Answer #1)

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John Proctor dislikes Parris because he is a paranoid, power hungry figure. His actions in Act One sugget that he truly cares about property and money than he does God, and that he tends to talk about Hell very often.

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smflannery | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Assistant Educator

Posted June 15, 2010 at 10:30 AM (Answer #2)

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John Proctor represents the average working man who has made mistakes in his life.  In the play, we find out that John has been unfaithful to his wife.  He confessed the adultery to his wife and she tries to forgive.  However, John did not confess to Reverend Parris and ask for forgiveness which is the Puritan belief.  It is not that Proctor does not believe in the religion, he does not believe in the “righteous” Reverend Parris.  It is through this conflict that Miller displays the hypocrisy in the Puritan belief system.  Parris is human and has made mistakes but he pretends to be infallible which cause the hypocrisy.  In order for Parris to keep his status in the community he had to eliminate all opposition.  Accusing his neighbors of witchcraft became the means for this annihilation.

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