How is Parris a bad minister in The Crucible?

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Reverend Parris is depicted as a completely selfish and materialistic individual who is not concerned with saving people's souls or being the spiritual leader of Salem.

In the opening scene of the play, Reverend Parris reveals his selfish personality by focusing on the way that Betty's mysterious illness will negatively...

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Reverend Parris is depicted as a completely selfish and materialistic individual who is not concerned with saving people's souls or being the spiritual leader of Salem.

In the opening scene of the play, Reverend Parris reveals his selfish personality by focusing on the way that Betty's mysterious illness will negatively affect his reputation. Reverend Parris seems more concerned about losing his position as minister and incurring the wrath of his enemies than he is about his daughter's health.

Reverend Parris also displays his greedy, materialistic personality by demanding a deed to his house and complaining about his salary. Parris resents the fact that he is not a well-paid minister and even demands that he has golden candlesticks at his altar. John Proctor also mentions that Reverend Parris only preaches about hellfire and damnation, which is both uninspiring and threatening.

Proctor even tells Reverend Hale that he does not see the light of God in Parris, which is why he refuses to allow the minister to baptize his third child. Revered Parris also aligns himself with the corrupt Deputy Governor Danforth and Judge Hathorne in hopes of securing his position as Salem's minister.

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John Proctor also mentions that Parris continually harped on having golden candlesticks to replace the pewter ones.  Parris is obsessed with money and appearances (hypocrisy in the church is a VERY old subject...just take a look at Chaucer's Canterbury Tales).  This is one reason why Proctor says he stopped regularly attending church.  Why does the church/Parris need gold candlesticks when pewter ones work just as well?

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I don't know what the real-life Samuel Parris was like, but the character in Miller's play is the opposite of what a minister should be. The term "minister" means "to take care of" or "to tend to," to minister to someone. Parris ministers only to himself and his friends. He loves money too much, an example of which is his argument that payment for his firewood should not come out of his salary. He is concerned about appearances. When he discovers that Abigail has run off with all his money, he doesn't worry about her welfare; all he cares about is what people will think of him. John Proctor refuses to go to church, not because he has lost faith in God, but because he does not care for the preacher.

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The dramatic version of Parris shows him to be personally stilted and politically inept. He is incapable of relating with children, especially those in his own home. He is paranoid about sects with hidden agendas to oust him but is lacking the discernment to identify the Putnams as the true threat around him. He apparently preaches about money and funding of his church instead of the salvation of souls.

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