How are the golden candlesticks symbolic of Parris' personality?

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

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For Proctor, the golden candlesticks represents Parris' own ego.  The fact that he demanded them helps to advance Proctor's case that Parris' ego and self- centered demeanor make him exactly the wrong person to be leading the Parrish.  At the same time, Proctor makes the argument that the golden candlesticks and Parris' insistence upon them represents how he twists spirituality into a materialist exercise.  For Proctor, Parris and the golden candlesticks represents how someone who is meant to speak spiritual truths is more fixated on a materialist pursuit, one that reflects his own ego and sense of flattery as opposed to a selfless worship of the Lord.  It is for this reason that Proctor cannot accept Parris in the role of spiritual leadership and the reason why he no longer attends the church.  The golden candlesticks block Proctor's own view of faith, in his own mind, as they represent so much that is wrong with the leadership of the church and the notion of the Salem church, in general.  For this, reason Proctor sees the golden candlesticks as symbolic of other elements.

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