Discuss Miller's motivation in depicting Parris as a changed man by the end of The Crucible. 

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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In some respects, Miller's depiction of Parris as a changed man helpes to bring out the idea that social demonization of others invariably takes a toll on everyone in a community setting.  Parris benefitted greatly from the accusations of witchcraft.  Though ambivalent at the start of the drama, Parris' own prestige and credibility advances greatly as a result of the trials and the accusations that result of it.  By Act IV, Parris seems to have become a victim to the same process of demonization that has overrun the town.  Miller's depiction of Parris as disheveled and emotionally scattered in Act IV is a result of several different conditions.  The rebellion in Andover, as well as the resentment of the townspeople in response to the trials, along with the death threat is what Miller uses to show that the malevolence and social evil that was perpetrated, to an extent, by Parris ends up coming home to roost at his doorstep by the end of the drama.  This was confirmed with Abigail's embezzlement and disappearance, almost confirmation to Parris that what he set out to do at the start of the drama has resulted in his own difficulties, realities that will lead to him leaving Salem by the play's end.  In this construction, Miller demonstrates that there is some level of justice or turnabout for those who abuse the public trust to advance their own agendas.

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