Who are  Reverend Parris, Betty, and Abigail, and what is their relationship in The Crucible?

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smflannery's profile pic

smflannery | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Assistant Educator

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Reverend Parris is the religious leader in Salem.  Being the religious leader means that you are responsible for the souls of those in your congregation.  This is a big responsibility so to lighten the load a bit; your finances were taken care of by your congregation.  Everything was provided for Parris and his family and in turn he needed to be the pillar of the community.  It was due to this fact that Parris found it imperative to cover up his family’s involved in the satanic behavior in the woods.  Betty (Parris’s daughter), Abigail (Parris’s niece), Tituba (Parris’s slave), and other young girls of the community were caught chanting and dancing naked in the woods one night.  To understand why this is a big problem you need to understand the time period as well as Puritan belief.  Young girls were raised to be pure and full of moralistic values.  It was through this purity that girls were matched with potential husbands and the union was made.  Even after the union of marriage, young ladies needed to be pure and void of bold behavior.  The activities found in marriage were duties and not meant to be fun and exciting.  Even if the girls were just caught dancing in the woods, it would be considered a punishable sin, but the fact that they were naked and chanting compounded the situation.  This point needed to be explained because it is this particular incident that really develops the character of Reverend Parris in the play and it explains his motivations throughout.

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coolkiller | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

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Reverend Paris as the name suggests is a reverend who has great authority in the crucible, he lives in fear of his reputation being soiled and he is a person who looks at the material part of life while betty in the other hand is his daughter and abigail is his neice and because of whom the which hunt began.

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