why do you think rev. parris has many enemies?why do you think rev. parris has many enemies?

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e-martin | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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In the opening act the antipathy existing between Parris and Proctor is explored briefly but powerfully. Parris is a selfish man, looking to enhance his own position at the expense of others. Proctor sees Parris in the light of this avarice and he is not alone in his view. 

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Lori Steinbach | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Reverend Parris has so many enemies because he looks for them. Despite being a pastor, he does not love his "flock." He calls them his enemies, he refers to them as factions, he wants more and more from them without giving them anything more in return. He suffers paranoia, assuming everyone in town is "out to get him," and he is defensive when anyone questions anything about him, his family, or his ministry. He is constantly looking for enemies, and he consistently finds them.

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litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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To me, he is the stereotypical Puritan reverend. Totalitarian, self-righteous and condescending to the core. He controls everything and allows no alternative to his viewpoint. Wouldn't someone like that be your enemy?
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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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People know when someone cares about them and they respond in kind.  But they also know when someone else simply wants to use them.  This makes them angry, especially when the person is supposed to be caring.  So I think Parris has all these enemies because he cares about himself and uses other people for his own ends even though someone in his position is supposed to care for others.  The people see this hypocrisy and greed on his part and react by disliking him intensely.

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hilahmarca | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

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Reverend Parris has many enemies because he is self-righteous, egocentric, and self-concious.  As the town's Reverend, it is his job to encourage and promote religion.  However, Parris goes out of his way to scold those who don't make attending his sermon a weekly occurence.  Therefore, instead of bringing together unity among the good people of Salem, Parris ostracizes moral, hardworking men like John Proctor, whose only fault is that his dedication to his farm often overlaps into what Parris believes should be Sunday's day of rest and churchgoing.

Parris also feels insecure about his position in the community.  He thinks all should praise him, for he is the one who does "God's work" and is, therefore, someone who should be treated with the highest reverence.  He becomes defensive when people start questioning his value to the community and church when they point out the perk of the free firewood he gets for being reverend in addition to his salary.  This inconsistency with his own self- importance and the importance others hold for him causes turmoil between Parris and other citizens of Salem.

Finally, those who get to know Parris well can see he is concerned about what others think about him more than anything else.  This is what causes him to believe Abigail's lies when she clearly is only trying to get herself out of trouble by focusing the blame on others.  Parris is not even willing to see the possibility in that because he is afraid of what people would think if an instance of witchcraft occurred inside his own home.  His greatest fear would then come true; his reputation would be ruined and his career would be over.  This causes him to come at odds with several law abiding citizens, such as the Nurses and Coreys, whom Parris refuses to support when they are accused of being involved in witchcraft.

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nrahman101 | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

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can anyone give me a detailed explanation (with quotes or page references) as to why there is conflict between John Proctor and Rev. Parris??

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