In act 4 of The Crucible what things upset Parris?

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pirateteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Act IV we see a worried, distraught Reverend Parris.  In the preious act was a firm supporter of the trials and willing to charge anyone who didn't support them as being against the trials, him, and even God.

However, as Act IV begins, Parris has changed (just like the town).  He comes to the court visibly shaken and upset and reports to Danforth that his niece Abigail and Mercy Lewis have run away.  What makes this worse (he is clearly not worried about the girls' well being) is that the girls have broken into his safe and taken his savings.

Thirty-one pound is gone. I am penniless. He covers his face and sobs.

From Act I we have witnessed Parris' concern over his career, his ministry, and his status in town.  He went against his intial beliefs that the girls were afflicted with witchcraft when he saw it could actually benefit him if there was such afflictions.  Now, his biggest fear has come true.  He has lost everything.

Parris also realizes that if Abigail and Mercy Lewis have run away because "they fear to keep in Salem any more" it will only be a short amount of time before others in the town also turn against the courts.

gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In act 4, Reverend Parris immediately reveals that he is upset at discovering that Abigail and Mercy Lewis have stolen thirty-one pounds from his lock box and fled Salem.

Parris also reveals that he is worried about the possibility of rebellion throughout Salem. He tells Deputy Governor Danforth that there are rumors spreading through the town, which indicate that the community may rebel against the court like the citizens did in Andover. Reverend Parris is worried that if Rebecca Nurse or John Proctor are hanged in front of the citizens, the community of Salem will riot, which will immediately threaten his life because he has openly supported the corrupt court since its inception. Reverend Parris then reveals to Danforth that there was a dagger stuck to his door in the morning and says that he fears for his life. Parris tells Danforth,

"You cannot hang this sort. There is danger for me. I dare not step outside at night!" (Miller, 128)

Overall, Reverend Parris is upset that Abigail stole his money and fled Salem and is also concerned about his safety during this chaotic, turbulent time.