Characters and Exploitation in "The Crucible"How do Parris, Putnam, Abigail, and Proctor exploit their situations in Salem?
Reverend Parris, who is the Pastor of the church in Salem is accused by John Proctor of exploiting his position to preach about the need for a larger church. Instead of preaching about God and salvation, he spends his time trying to enhance his position. This angers John Proctor so much, that he stops attending services on Sunday.
Mr. Putnam, puts himself in a position to purchase the property, at a dramatically reduced price, of those accused of witchcraft. Once these people are jailed or executed, Putnam can force their poor families to sell the property for a lot less out of desperation.
Abigail, who is in love with the married Proctor, uses first, her position as his servant to seduce him into an adulterous affair. Then when he cuts the affair off and commits himself back to his wife, Abigail accuses Elizabeth Proctor of witchcraft, to get her out of the way so she can have her husband.
John Proctor, is a basically honest man, who made a mistake and is caught in a lie trying to save his wife. Proctor, in order to restore his integrity and reputation, refuses to cooperate with the court and even though he is innocent, he ends up being executed.
Proctor is used by both Abigail and the court to make a point. Reverend Parris gets his revenge when Proctor's lack of attendance at church is central to the accusation against him.
Parris attempts to get free firewood from the townspeople of Salem, claiming that this is part of "his due" as a Reverend in the town. Proctor is vocally against this and sees the demand as an overstepping of the bounds of what is actually due to Parris.
The selfishness of Parris is the first example of exploitation in the play.