What is John Proctor's opinion of Reverend Parris in Act 1 of The Crucible?

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In the first act of The Crucible, John Proctor feels that Reverend Parris is a selfish hypocrite who only preaches hellfire and damnation and does not instill hope in his congregation. Proctor recognizes that Reverend Parris is a materialistic, superficial man with a cold heart. He does not see the light of God in Parris. Proctor sees through Parris's false piety and understands that he is a self-serving, callous individual.

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John Proctor is opposed to Reverend Parris's decision to send for Reverend Hale from Beverly to conduct an investigation into witchcraft and is aware that Parris is simply trying to bolster his own authority by doing so. Proctor feels that Parris is overstepping his authority and neglecting the community's thoughts regarding the present situation. Proctor has never liked Reverend Parris and understands that he is a superficial man who is more concerned with status and authority than the souls of the villagers. He verbally expresses his displeasure with Reverend Parris in act one by saying that he only preaches hellfire and damnation. As a sinner, Proctor does not want to be constantly reminded of the consequences of his transgressions, and Parris's sermons only make him feel guilty. Proctor also feels that Parris lacks compassion, mercy, and grace.

In addition to solely preaching about hellfire and damnation, Proctor is concerned with Reverend Parris's desire to increase his salary and own the deed to his home. Proctor is disgusted that Parris is so worried about wealth and says that he would gladly join a faction opposing the minister. He recognizes that Parris is motivated by money and not faithfulness. Proctor also feels that Parris lacks humility and selflessness. Later in the play, Proctor elaborates on Parris's desire to have golden candlesticks, which illustrates his greedy, superficial nature. In conclusion, John Proctor dislikes Reverend Parris and views him as a selfish, greedy man.

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John Proctor does not support Reverend Parris and views him as a selfish, materialistic individual who leads his congregation through fear by preaching nothing but hellfire and damnation. In act 1, John Proctor travels to Salem and visits Parris's daughter, Betty, who suffers from a mysterious illness. Once Proctor arrives, he discovers that Parris has called for Reverend Hale from Beverly to investigate possible supernatural forces throughout Salem. Proctor is critical of Parris's decision and believes that they should have voted before calling upon Reverend Hale to investigate witchcraft. When Mr. Putnam criticizes John for not attending church, John responds by saying,

I have trouble enough without I come five mile to hear him preach only hellfire and bloody damnation. Take it to heart, Mr. Parris. There are many others who stay away from church these days because you hardly ever mention God anymore.

John believes that Reverend Parris is a callous, insensitive man who does not appropriately lead his people or instill hope in the congregation. Reverend Parris then begins to complain about his salary, and John says,

Mr. Parris, you are the first minister ever did demand the deed to this house.

Proctor goes on to say that at the last meeting, Parris spoke so long about mortgages and deeds that he thought he was at an auction. Proctor recognizes that Reverend Parris is a superficial hypocrite who is materialistic and selfish. Proctor does not see the light of God in Reverend Parris and refuses to allow him to baptize his children. Proctor understands that Parris's primary goal is to remain in a position of authority at all costs and that he is not concerned about others. Proctor vehemently opposes Reverend Parris, and his negative feelings toward him continue to grow as the play progresses.

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John Proctor sees through Reverend Parris right from the start. He knows that, for Parris, the witch-craze is just a means to an end, a way of bolstering his power and status among the people of the town. This explains why he opposes Parris's decision to send for Reverend Hale to investigate alleged cases of witchcraft. He senses straight away that the whole judicial process will have more to do with maintaining Parris's grip on power than getting at the truth of things. Parris may preach hellfire and damnation, but Proctor sees him for the worldly hypocrite that he really is. He's so distrustful of Parris that he even refuses to have his child baptized by him. Proctor's instincts turn out to be entirely correct. Unfortunately for him, no one else appears able to see what's right in front of them.

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Proctor sees through Parris' claims of piety and does not consider him an authority nor a leader.

Proctor despises Parris' attempts to rule by fear of Hell. When Putnam accuses Proctor not having moral authority because he does not regularly attend Sabbath meetings, Proctor replies to both Parris and Proctor. He scornfully says, " I have trouble enough without I come five mile to hear him preach only hellfire and bloody damnation. Take it to heart, Mr. Parris. There are many others who stay away from church these days because you hardly ever mention God anymore."

He also questions his motivations as to money rather than faithfulness. When Parris incredulously asks if he should not even be given a home to live in, Proctor responds, "To live in, yes. But to ask ownership is like you shall own the meeting house itself; the last meeting I were at you spoke so long on deeds and mortgages I thought it were an auction."

Though others have their doubts and suspicions about Parris, Proctor alone is man enough to voice them.

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How does Parris feel about his parishioners?

Parris is highly suspicious of a section of his parishioners. He sees them as his enemies, and he is afraid that they are out to ruin him. Parris sees the event in the forest as an opportunity for his “enemies” to destroy his ministry, and he is not ready to face them with the truth. Parris is not sincere with his parishioners, and all he is concerned about is his status and station as a minister.

Parris: Now look you, child, your punishment will come in its time. But 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.

Parris is unhappy with his parishioners because he believes that they are not providing him with the necessary supplies for his livelihood. However, his accusations confirm that he is selfish and does not care about his parishioners.  He believes that they do not respect him and that they are subjecting him to poverty.

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How does Parris feel about his parishioners?

Parris is shown to lack a genuine and sincere affect towards his parishoners.  Part of this might be due to the fact that Parris lacks a genuine and sincere affect towards anyone.  He cannot show this to anyone, including his parishioners.  Parris is so insecure that everything, in his mind, is a reflection of how much he is loved and respected.  Recall that at the start of the drama, Parris is afraid to speak of witchcraft because he is afraid of how others would look at him as the head minister.  It is only after some cajoling and thought that Parris recognizes that developing and stirring the fear of witchcraft amongst the townspeople would actually help to increase his stock as the town minister.  Parris is opposed to Proctor because he sees him as a threat.  There is little in way of openness and a sense of forthcoming in Parris.  It is here where his attitude towards his parishioners is most evident.  He shows care towards them, so long as they can help him consolidate his power and not pose a threat to his stature in the town.  Outside of this, Parris is incapable of showing anything that displays love, compassion, and a sense of Christian righteousness because he lacks these traits in his own sense of person.

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How does Parris feel about his parishioners?

Reverend Parris feels a lot of disdain for his parishioners in The Crucible.  He sees them as the means to an end.  He wants to be known as a popular man of God and wants them to show their appreciation by building him a new church with fancy goblets and furnishings.  The congregation, however, doesn't feel that the church needs material things to be close to God. Reverend Parris also doesn't feel that they pay him enough as the town minister.

Reverend Parris also fears his congregation especially when whispers of witch craft knock on his door.  He knows that he can lose everything if Abigail, his niece, comes under attack for her lying and promiscuous behavior. He would probably be run out of town for her lack of faith, something he should have controlled.  When Betty Parris starts acting strangely after sneaking out to the woods with Abigail, Tituba, and the other girls, he especially becomes worried. It is because of his fear that he starts accusing Tituba forcing her to confess, and therefore, taking the "heat" off of him.  

Parris is hypocritical and not very God-like.  He is selfish and out for himself only.   Power and prestige is more important to him than the souls of his parishioners.

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What is Parris's feeling towards the congregation in The Crucible?

Parris isn't exactly the image of a small-town minister that humbly shepherds the flock that is his congregation. Parris simply does not appear to love the members of his congregation. He sees them as a part of his job that he is struggling to hold on to, and he sees the members of his church as a means to an end. This is probably why John Proctor is able to confidently state that he doesn't see the light of God in Reverend Parris.

I like it not that Mr. Parris should lay his hand upon my baby. I see no light of God in that man. I’ll not conceal it.

Proctor is a devoted member of the church, and he has proven that by helping to build the very church that Parris now occupies; however, Parris seems to be money-focused, materialistic, and overly concerned about appearances. That's why he preaches about golden candlesticks rather than about the spiritual well-being of his congregation.

Since we built the church there were pewter candle-sticks upon the altar; Francis Nurse made them, y’know, and a sweeter hand never touched the metal. But Parris came, and for twenty week he preach nothin’ but golden candlesticks until he had them. I labor the earth from dawn of day to blink of night, and I tell you true, when I look to heaven and see my money glaring at his elbows—it hurt my prayer, sir, it hurt my prayer. I think, sometimes, the man dreams cathedrals, not clapboard meetin’ houses.

Parris is astute enough to know that he hasn't earned the favor of every member; therefore, rather than working harder to win their favor through increased love, Parris views much of his congregation with fear. He worries about the faction that doesn't like him. He worries that they may gain enough power to push him out of the pulpit. He is so fearful of that group that Parris calls them his "enemies," and that is an odd thing to say about the fellow believers that he is supposed to care for.

But 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.

[...]

There is a faction that is sworn to drive me from my pulpit. Do you understand that?

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What is Parris's feeling towards the congregation in The Crucible?

Reverend Parris fears his congregation and believes that there is a faction determined to remove him from his position of authority in Salem's community. In the opening scene of the play, Reverend Parris voices his concerns towards Abigail and reveals that he is worried that Betty's mysterious illness will be used as evidence for disgruntled citizens to remove him from office. Parris also refers to his congregation as "stiff-necked" people and is aware that he is not well-liked by certain community members. Reverend Parris's concern about his position of authority illustrates his selfish personality. Rather than solely focus on his daughter's well-being, Reverend Parris is more concerned about how his enemies will use witchcraft as an excuse to remove him from office. Overall, Reverend Parris has an antagonistic relationship with members of his congregation and fears that they will remove him from office. He is not sympathetic to their needs and is condescending towards them. Parris's main concern is increasing his salary and is not worried about helping his congregation attain salvation or become spiritually healthy.

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What is Parris's feeling towards the congregation in The Crucible?

Parris views his role as minister as that of a job. He constantly reminds his congregation that he was in the business world before-money is still a great concern. He often seems dismissive and condescending of his congregation. He usually tries to conform in his actions to what will garner him the most respect and awe.

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What is Parris's feeling towards the congregation in The Crucible?

Parris is very concerned about his standing in the community and realizes that his role as Minister is one of great power. He believes that some members of the community are out to destroy him and remove him from this position of power. Additionally, he believes that his standing as leader of the church warrants him numerous perks and advantages that his predecessors have not received. Essentially, he is extremely arrogant and power hungry and believes that everyone in the community should recognize his authority and not question anything that he says or does.

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