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What is the significance of Parris' agitation over what happened in Andover?

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oliviagirl | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 10, 2012 at 7:56 PM via web

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What is the significance of Parris' agitation over what happened in Andover?

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akannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted October 10, 2012 at 11:08 PM (Answer #1)

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For Parris, the situation in Andover is his worst fears realized.  In Andover, the community has rebelled against the authority of those who were in the position of power over their witch trials.  Parris is so agitated because he understands that this same condition can be visited upon himself.  Parris understands that his control and authority that he enjoyed so much during the hysteria is no longer going to be the case.  He also understands that he is the target of the public disapproval, representing his worst fears.  This condition is significant for a couple of reasons.  The first is that it displays how the pendulum of power has moved from the side on which Parris is to the opposing force.  Another reason why Parris' agitation is significant is because he now fully recognizes his own sense of powerlessness, something that the people that Parris prosecuted and persecuted experienced themselves.  For Parris, his agitation is a reflection of how there is a loss of power and control in his own being and how there has been a reversal of fortune in his owb being.

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