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What was Samuel Parris’s attitude toward children?

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onetwoonetwot... | Student, College Freshman | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 23, 2009 at 12:33 AM via web

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What was Samuel Parris’s attitude toward children?

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pmiranda2857 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted March 24, 2009 at 7:26 AM (Answer #1)

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Reverend Samuel Parris's attitude toward children is that they should be obedient and respectful and never do anything that will embarrass him or create a black mark on his reputation.

"He continues to follow public opinion right to the end of the play, when he insists that Proctor's confession must be made publicly in order for it to be effective."

When he catches the girls dancing in the woods and conjuring spirits, he is worried how the town will view the behavior of his niece, Abigail, his daughter, Betty and Tituba, his servant, not about their eternal salvation or that they are violating the code of behavior according to the Puritan belief system.

He is very worried about the fact that his daughter Betty is sick, Abigail tells him that the rumors of witchcraft are all over the village.  He says:

"And what shall I say to them? That my daughter and my niece were discovered dancing like heathen in the forest." (Miller)

"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." (Miller)

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