How does Parris feel about his parishoners?

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price7781 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Reverend Parris feels a lot of disdain for his parishioners in The Crucible.  He sees them as the means to an end.  He wants to be known as a popular man of God and wants them to show their appreciation by building him a new church with fancy goblets and furnishings.  The congregation, however, doesn't feel that the church needs material things to be close to God. Reverend Parris also doesn't feel that they pay him enough as the town minister.

Reverend Parris also fears his congregation especially when whispers of witch craft knock on his door.  He knows that he can lose everything if Abigail, his niece, comes under attack for her lying and promiscuous behavior. He would probably be run out of town for her lack of faith, something he should have controlled.  When Betty Parris starts acting strangely after sneaking out to the woods with Abigail, Tituba, and the other girls, he especially becomes worried. It is because of his fear that he starts accusing Tituba forcing her to confess, and therefore, taking the "heat" off of him.  

Parris is hypocritical and not very God-like.  He is selfish and out for himself only.   Power and prestige is more important to him than the souls of his parishioners.