What is Rev. Parris' first reaction to the crisis in The Crucible?

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missy575 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The first crisis Rev. Parris must respond to is the inciting incident of the story, Betty Parris' paralysis. He first wants to have a doctor determine the source of the problem through science:

Let him look to medicine and put out all thought of unnatural causes here.

Although, he had already sent to have Rev. Hale of Beverly, a local exorcist, to confirm that Betty was indeed not affected by any demonic spirit. The reason he pursues the matter this way has to do with his reputation. He fears that the congregation who already has reasons to doubt him will turn on him even further if they find that the Devil has been able to affect the preacher's house. He is so worried about it that it seems he wants to hide the potential for the real problem: Betty's bewitching.