How does John Proctor feel about Reverend Parris in the first act of The Crucible?

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Jamie Wheeler | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

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Proctor sees through Parris' claims of piety and does not consider him an authority nor a leader.

Proctor despises Parris' attempts to rule by fear of Hell. When Putnam accuses Proctor not having moral authority because he does not regularly attend Sabbath meetings, Proctor replies to both Parris and Proctor. He scornfully says, " I have trouble enough without I come five mile to hear him preach only hellfire and bloody damnation. Take it to heart, Mr. Parris. There are many others who stay away from church these days because you hardly ever mention God anymore."

He also questions his motivations as to money rather than faithfulness. When Parris incredulously asks if he should not even be given a home to live in, Proctor responds, "To live in, yes. But to ask ownership is like you shall own the meeting house itself; the last meeting I were at you spoke so long on deeds and mortgages I thought it were an auction."

Though others have their doubts and suspicions about Parris, Proctor alone is man enough to voice them.


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