How does Parris exhibit his self-centeredness when he relates the news of Abigail's disappearance with Hathorne and Danforth?in The Crucible

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Lori Steinbach | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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In The Crucible, Parris is a self-centered, self-absorbed man from the moment we meet him. While he is no doubt concerned about his daughter's welfare, all we hear from him is how this incident is going to affect him and his ministry. This selfishness ends up first as fear and finally as paranoia as he watches his enemies fall.

There is no question that Reverend Parris is self-centered. He does not inform the court that his niece Abigail has left town, absconded with his money, for three days. That is inexcusable, but he keeps the news to himself out of fear of what the court might do or say to him. Rather than express his concern over a young woman (probably two young women) off on her own, he whines about losing his life savings.

Danforth calls him a "brainless man," and his reply is self-serving:

Excellency, it profit nothing you should blame me.

In the end, though, Parris does make a bit of a change. It's certainly not much, but a bit. Parris tries to deflect the discussion to witchcraft at Andover, and he does ask Danforth to reconsider his inflexible position. But the reality is that Parris is to blame for much of what happened in Salem, and he knows it. Parris is practically tripping over himself to avoid any blame and to save his own reputation and ministry. That is the epitome of self-centeredness.

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