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Rev. Parris makes this demand in Act I when he is arguing with some of the townspeople as they await Rev. Hale's arrival in the troubled town of Salem. His comment demonstrates several things about the town. First, Rev. Parris thinks only of himself. His daughter lies upstairs in a comalike state, and he is downstairs arguing with his own church members about firewood. He does not feel that he is properly respected or compensated for his qualifications, and he brings up this issue, because knows that he is not well-liked in the community.
This first argument involving Rev. Parris in the play foreshadows the greed of many of the people of Salem (the Putnams, etc.) and how his and others' selfishness pits neighbor against neighbor and leads to the deaths of innocent people.
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