What is a good quote from act 1 that proves that Reverend Parris is selfish and greedy?

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There are several quotations from act I ofThe Crucible that show Mr. Parris's greed and in which his selfishness is evident. For both together, however, the best source is the section of dialogue in which Parris is arguing with John Proctor and Rebecca Nurse about why people no longer...

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There are several quotations from act I of The Crucible that show Mr. Parris's greed and in which his selfishness is evident. For both together, however, the best source is the section of dialogue in which Parris is arguing with John Proctor and Rebecca Nurse about why people no longer come to church. Parris abruptly changes the subject and says, without preamble:

Where is my wood? MY contract provides I be supplied with all my firewood. I am waiting since November for a stick, and even in November I had to show my frostbitten hands like some London beggar!

There follows an undignified squabble about Parris's salary. Giles Corey says Parris has a firewood allowance of six pounds a year, and Parris responds:

I regard that six pound as part of my salary. I am paid little enough without I spend six pound on firewood—

The words "I regard" suggest that Parris has simply decided unilaterally to keep the extra six pounds and demand firewood into the bargain. His defense of his position is bluster:

The salary is sixty-six pound, Mr. Proctor! I am not some preaching farmer with a book under my arm; I am a graduate of Harvard College.

In the first place, this is an insult to Proctor and Corey, both of whom are farmers. In the second place, being a Harvard graduate was not particularly impressive in 1692, as there were no other universities in America and even Harvard was very small and provincial. Most of the educated men in and around Salem had graduated from Harvard.

This discussion about Parris's salary and the deeds to his house goes on for some time while Betty lies insensible on the bed and panic rises in Salem. It serves to demonstrate even better than the many other instances in act I the greed and selfishness of Mr. Parris.

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In the opening scene of the play, Reverend Parris is portrayed as a greedy, selfish man, who is only concerned about maintaining his position of authority in the community. Despite the fact that his daughter is unconscious, he is more concerned about how the rumors of witchcraft will affect his position as the community's reverend. When Reverend Parris encourages Abigail to be honest with him and tell him the truth about what she and the other girls were doing in the forest, he demonstrates his selfish nature by saying,

"Now look you, child, your punishment will come in its time. But if you trafficked with spirits in the forest I must know it now, for surely my enemies will, and they will ruin me with it" (Miller 10).

Reverend Parris once again emphasizes that his "enemies" will use Abigail's behavior to drive him from the pulpit by saying,

"It must come out—my enemies will bring it out. Let me know what you done there. Abigail, do you understand that I have many enemies?" (Miller 10).

Reverend Parris is clearly more concerned about his occupation and social status in the village than he is about his daughter's health and niece's mind state. Rather than focusing on the girls' well-being and safety, Reverend Parris selfishly chastises his niece for jeopardizing his exalted position in the village by saying,

"Abigail, I have sought here three long years to bend these stiff-necked people to me, and now, just now when some good respect is rising for me in the parish, you compromise my very character" (Miller 11).

When John Proctor and Giles Corey enter the scene, Reverend Parris illustrates his greedy nature by complaining about his salary. Reverend Parris says,

"Mr. Corey, you will look far for a man of my kind at sixty pound a year! I am not used to this poverty; I left a thrifty business in the Barbados to serve the Lord. I do not fathom it, why am I persecuted here? I cannot offer one proposition but there be a howling riot of argument. I have often wondered if the Devil be in it somewhere; I cannot understand you people otherwise" (Miller 30).

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When Reverend Parris confronts Abigail about her reputation and the girls' activities in the woods the night before, he says to her, 

[...] I pray you feel the weight of truth upon you, for now my ministry's at stake, my ministry and perhaps your cousin's life.  Whatever abomination you have done, give me all of it now, for I dare not be taken unaware when I go before them down there.

He's already mentioned his "enemies" several times in the text, trying to impress upon his niece his belief that there are people actively working against him who will try to use any evidence possible to oust him from authority.  Parris is clearly concerned that Abigail's and Betty's forest activities with Tituba, his slave, will be used against him; the stain of witchcraft would certainly render him insecure in his position as the community's spiritual leader.  In fact, he seems more concerned that what Tituba and the girls have done will affect his status and security than he does that it has, apparently, seriously threatened his daughter's health.  When he lists his concerns in the lines above, he selfishly lists his ministry first and his daughter second.  Then, he claims that he needs to know everything before he addresses the community because he must be prepared to defend himself and his household against any accusations that might catch him "unaware."  He is, selfishly, more concerned about his reputation than he is about the community or even his own daughter.

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In an exchange between Giles Corey, John Proctor, and Reverend Parris in Act One, Parris complains he has been waiting for the firewood he claims is part of his contract. Giles corrects him, saying, "You are allowed six pounds a year to buy your wood, Mr. Parris." Parris disagrees, saying "I regard that six pound as part of my salary. I am paid little enough without I spend six pound on firewood."

Parris's greed seems evident when he uses the word "regard" to describe the six pounds allotted for firewood. Despite what his contract indicates, he clearly believes he should be paid more, telling John "The salary is sixty-six pound, Mr. Proctor!" Parris goes on to describe himself as a Harvard graduate, "not some preaching farmer." This is an insult to Giles and John, who are both farmers. Parris's attitude is not typical of a Puritan; their philosophy was that one should lay up treasures in Heaven, not concern oneself with worldly gain.

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