In the Crucible, What is an example of reputation?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Reverend Parris might be an example of reputation.  He seems so worried about how people will perceive him and his status that he fails to account for some basic realities that impact everyone in Salem.  His niece is essentially out of control and his lack of emotional affect towards her because of his precious reputation precludes her from being stemmed in her accusations that drive the town to a naturally destructive end.  At the same time, the overriding fear of the besmirched reputation of the townspeople causes them to sever bonds with one another.  When someone is accused of being a witch, we don't see anyone assisting in their defense or offering to assist because the same accusation can be leveled against them.  This lack of solidarity is because everyone is concerned about their reputation before anything else.  In the end, the overriding desire to protect a social reputation might have had a detrimental impact on the social order in general.