Parris is highly suspicious of a section of his parishioners. He sees them as his enemies, and he is afraid that they are out to ruin him. Parris sees the event in the forest as an opportunity for his “enemies” to destroy his ministry, and he is not ready to face them with the truth. Parris is not sincere with his parishioners, and all he is concerned about is his status and station as a minister.
Parris: Now look you, child, your punishment will come in its time. But if you trafficked with spirits in the forest I must know it now, for surely my enemies will, and they will ruin me with it.
Parris is unhappy with his parishioners because he believes that they are not providing him with the necessary supplies for his livelihood. However, his accusations confirm that he is selfish and does not care about his parishioners. He believes that they do not respect him and that they are subjecting him to poverty.