What is Reverend Parris's relationship with the community in Act one of "The Crucible"? Where do you learn this information in the play?no

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favoritethings eNotes educator| Certified Educator

On the night before the play begins, Reverend Parris finds his niece, daughter, and their friends, dancing in the woods with his slave, Tituba. He is very concerned that they were doing witchcraft or conjuring spirits, and so he's trying to get Abigail to tell him everything. He says, "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." He checks with her to make sure she understands that he has "many enemies." In fact, he believes there "is a faction . . . sworn to drive [him] from [his] pulpit."

Parris references his "enemies" again and again, and so we must come to understand that his relationship with the community is tenuous. There must be a significant portion of the town that does not like him or respect his authority. Thus, he seems very distrustful of the people in the community and is constantly on the defense, and he seems to look down on them, calling them "stick-necked people" who he's had to "bend" over the course of the last three years. He seems to think of them as somewhat stubborn and ignorant. All of these quotations are taken from the first few pages of dialogue in the text.

amy-lepore eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Reverend Parris is not in good with the community.  They are angry with him, and he is pushy with them.

In Act I scene 1, Parris lashes out at Abigail for being caught in the woods and for what this will mean for his career as Reverand.  He specifically tells her that there are those in the community that would have him gone and that her behavior will be attached to him since they are related.

In Act II, scene 3, John Proctor tells Reverand Hale other things that have put Parris at odds with the community.  Parris wants gold candlesticks when the community felt that pewter would do.  There is an issue about what Parris is paid and how much firewood he is allowed--Parris obviously arguing for more and the community stating that he is already paid more than reverends in nearby parishes.  Proctor states to Hale that Proctor, "does not see the hand of God" in Parris which is why their youngest child has not been baptized by the reverend.