Literary Essay: The Crucible by Arthur Miller
In The Crucible by Arthur Miller, Reverend Parris is a character in the play that is very static. His character does not evolve in many ways during the course of the play. By the end of the play, Reverend Parris is still selfish, stubborn, and greedy. However, one of his most prominent flaws at the begging of the play is his selfishness.
At the very beginning of the play, it is quite obvious that Parris is a selfish person. He only cares about himself, his reputation and materialistic things. “(…) in the midst of such disruption, my own household is discovered to be the very center of some obscene practice. Abominations are done in the forest—” (pg. 11). This quote shows that he knows that the girls were dancing in the forest, but the thing he cares most about is that Abigail and Betty were part of it. These two girls were supposed to be taken care of by him; it is his duty to make them stay out of trouble. The thing he is worried for now is people now knowing they were part of this, and it will ultimately blacken his name for letting them do such a thing. “(…) for now my ministry’s at stake, my ministry and perhaps your cousin’s life.” (pg. 11) This quote shows what he thinks about first, himself. He thinks about his ministry first and then after thinks about Betty and her life. His selfishness throughout the play does not change of course. An example of this is that in Act Three, he purposely lies/is very hesitant to telling the court that he saw the girls dancing in the forest. Proctor: “Mary. Now tell the Governor how you danced in the woods.” Parris: “Excellency, since I come to Salem this man is blackening my name (…)” This quote shows that he tries to make Proctor look bad in court so that he gets what he wants. “They’ve come to overthrow the court, sir!”(pg.88), “Such a Christian that will not come to church but once in a month!”(pg.90). With these quotes, you can see that Parris is trying...
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