In The Crucible, what most concerns Reverend Parris?

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

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Throughout The Crucible, Reverend Parris is continuously worried about himself and his career.  In Act I when he questions Abigail about the girls' nocturnal activities, as well as the rumors about her reputation in town, he pointedly asks her:


Now look you, child, your punishment will come in its time. But if you trafficked with spirits in the forest, I must know it now, for surely my enemies will, and they will ruin me with it.


The focus of this question is not on his only daughter who is lying sick in bed or even if they did traffic with the devil.  Instead, he wants to know if they were with the devil out of fear that his enemies will find out and use the information against him.  Instead, he keeps referring to a faction that exists somewhere in Salem that he believes is trying to pull him out of his job.


In Act III, Parris is presented with evidence that the girls are lying to the court.  However, he is not willing to listen to them.  Instead he tries to turn the court’s attention away by suggesting that Proctor is a part of the faction against him.  He warns Danforth, “Beware this man, Your Excellency, he is mischief.” 

Again, instead of looking to see the cause of the girls’ illness, he is concerned only with himself and his career.


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