In "The Crucible", what is John Proctor complaint against Parris' sermons?Which two men does Proctor have an argument with?

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gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In act one, John Proctor voices his displeasure with Reverend Parris for requesting Reverend Hale's presence to look for signs of witchcraft without first holding a meeting to discuss the matter. Proctor then begins to argue with Mr. Putnam over the right to assemble in order to vote on the matter. When Mr. Putnam criticizes Proctor for skipping church services, Proctor begins to ridicule Reverend Parris for his harsh, negative sermons every Sunday. Proctor tells Parris,

There are many others who stay away from church these days because you hardly ever mention God anymore (Miller, 29).

Proctor then continues to complain about Reverend Parris's greed by mentioning how he is the only minister to ever ask for a deed to his home. Toward the end of act one, Giles Corey agrees to help John Proctor drag lumber out of his forest as they leave Reverend Parris's home. On their way out, Mr. Putnam starts another argument with Proctor by claiming that Proctor is taking lumber that is on his land, a typical complaint coming from the greedy Mr. Putnam.

In act two, Proctor again voices his negative opinion of Reverend Parris by telling Reverend Hale that he does not see "the light of God" in Parris. He then begins to complain about Reverend Parris's greedy nature and insistence on having golden candlesticks. Proctor also argues with Ezekiel Cheever in act two when he comes to arrest Elizabeth. 

engtchr5 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

At various points in the novel, Proctor reiterates his opinion that he does not see the "light of God" in Parris. Particularly during this time frame, ministers were thought to have near-supernatural connections with the almighty, and Proctor feels that Parris is not as connected with God as he should be.

His complaint against Parris's sermons is that they smack of greed and corruption. He points specifically to his constant railings about damnation and brimstone, and also asserts that he has preached about worldly gains like the golden candlesticks he wanted just so that he could get them.

The character of a corrupt minister is not confined to The Crucible, however. Throughout history, from stories like "The Minister's Black Veil" all the way to the present, we are shown preachers, priests, Levites, and religious figures who, for one reason or another, are of questionable character.

Proctor also argues with Putnam and other church members during this story as he attempts to defend women accused of witchcraft.

dneshan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

John Proctor's major complaint against Parris's sermons is that he preaches too much about hell and the eternal damnation of the people of Salem.   In addition, Proctor does not accept Parris' greed -- Proctor tells Rev. Hale that Parris preached for months about getting golden candlesticks on his alter until he finally got them because the pewter ones that he originally had (made by Francis Nurse) were not good enough for him.   In addition to having an argument with Parris, Proctor also dislikes Putnam because he thinks that he owns all the land in Salem and argues with Proctor over it in Act 1.