What is a good Puritan Minister? Is Reverend Parris a good minster to his congregation?

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teacherscribe | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

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Reverend Parris is not a good minister to his congregation in that he is more worried about himself than others. Notice how Proctor complains that Parris whined until he finally got his congregation to raise money to get golden candlesticks. Proctor also notes how he tends to dwell on the negative aspects of human nature, preaching a kind of fire and brimstone theology, which was not untypical for a Puritan minister.

Parris is more worried about his reputation than anything. The play opens with him praying, but we learn that it is not so much for his daughter's health as it is to repair his reputation. After all, what will it look like to his congregation if the minister cannot even keep the devil away from his own daughter. How is he supposed to protect his followers?

He also remarks that he has a university education and gave up a profitable business to become a minister. He never seems to take pleasure in helping his church members. Rather he spends his time brooding over what they think of him and how much money he isn't earning.


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