Analysis Of Reverend Parris Motivations In Supporting The Salem Witch Trials

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Reverend Parris’ Motivations in Supporting The Salem Witch Trials
At the beginning of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, Reverend Parris made it abundantly clear that he did not believe there was witchcraft in Salem. However, that quickly changed and he eventually became one of the biggest supporters of the trials. During this transition, the audience tends to ask themselves how? How could he go from being completely against them to desperately wanting them to continue? The answer to that is simple: he realized that he could use the trials to his advantage. Parris attempted to use the trials as a tool to help him salvage his reputation and as a scapegoat to avoid any additional trouble with the people of Salem and the law. He had several different
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Parris’ motivation of wanting to maintain credibility in Salem was shown several times throughout the play. For example at one point while speaking to Abigail Parris said, “...I have fought here three long years to bend these stiff-necked people to me, and now, just now when some good respect is rising for me in the parish, you compromise my very character…”. Parris said this to his niece because he was angry that she had done unholy things and put his reputation and credibility at risk. This is worth mentioning because it shows how Parris really didn’t want the town to view him negatively and would do anything for them to respect him, which would eventually mean him supporting the trials. Additionally, at multiple points in the beginning of the play, Parris demonstrated his …show more content…
At the beginning of the play, Parris said to his niece, “I cannot blink what I saw, Abigail, for my enemies will not blink it… And I pray you feel the weight of truth upon you, for now my ministry’s at stake, my ministry and perhaps your cousin's life.” This quote shows how even early on when they were just beginning to speak about the possibility of witchcraft in Salem, the reverend was already thinking about how it might affect him and his ministry. Additionally, a bit later on Parris came right out with his fear of losing his job when he said, “There is a party in this church. I am not blind; there is a faction and a part.” Though at times he sounded somewhat paranoid he was correct in having a legitimate fear of a faction in his congregation that wanted him to lose his job. This fear was confirmed by John Proctor when he voiced his opinion of Parris and said,“I see no light of God in that man. I’ll not conceal it.” All of this fear concerning the uncertainty of his job definitely provided motivation to support the witch trials. Reverend Parris most likely thought that if he could rid Salem of the impureness that the ‘devil’ had brought in, then his congregation would see the good work he had done and would stop standing against

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