What are Reverend Parris' complaints against the community in Act One of The Crucible?

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renelane eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Reverend Parris is a man who thinks people are always plotting against him. For a man of God, he worries quite a bit about money and public opinion.

In Act I, with his daughter Betty stricken with an unknown illness, he is more concerned about whether rumors will start and how this will affect his reputation. He tries to keep people from finding out what is wrong so that he does not look bad.

When he confronts Abigail with his discovery of the girls in the woods, he lectures her on how this will look for him. He also gets on her about her reputation, and how people are talking about her dismissal from the Proctor house. Again, he is not concerned for Abigail's own well-being, but for his own.

Parris and John Proctor are antagonistic towards each other. Proctor hates that Parris is always trying to negotiate a higher compensation, and arguing about his having to pay for his own firewood. Parris is more interested in money than in ministering to the people. It angers him that they do not reward his supposed worth.

Jamie Wheeler eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Parris' beefs with his community are numerous.  He claims to be unappreciated and underpaid, a true man of God, and those who don't see this are probably evil themselves, possessed of the devil or doing his work.  Here is the quotation in which he outlines his supposed greivances: 

"Mr. Coery, you will look far for a man of my kind at sixty pound a year!  I am not used to this poverty; I left a thrifty business in the Barbados to serve the Lord.  I do not fathom it, why am i persecuted here?  I cannot offer one propostiion but there be a howling riot of an argument.  I have often wondered if the Devil be in it somewhere; I cannot understand you people otherwise."