The Common Evil Selfishness
Evil comes in many forms in The Crucible, written by Arthur Miller. People, things, and places take the shape of wickedness in the town of Salem, Massachusetts in 1692. Although each person expresses themselves in a different way, each character does it for the same reason; themselves. One person in particular shows their selfishness in a very sneaky way, giving hints of corrupt behavior throughout each act. By the end of play many realize that Abigail Williams is not the only evil force in the play. With his cruel intentions, lying, and false demeanor, Reverend Parris shows that evil comes in many forms, and shows his true self to his congregation when crisis erupts in Salem. Act 1 begins with Reverend Parris sitting by his mute daughter Betty’s bed. At first many would feel sorry for Parris, because of his sick daughter. But later in the play, it is that Parris is only worried about his reputation. While speaking to Abigail about Betty’s conditions, he says, “Abigail, I have fought here three long years to bend these stiff-necked people to me, and now, just when some good respect is rising for me in the parish, you compromise my very character” (Act 1 121-125). He fears that he would lose his position of reverend if talk of his daughter practicing witchcraft spread around town, and all of his hard work would be for nothing. Also, many people in town believe that the Reverend is not doing his religious duties for the right reasons. John Proctor specifically voices his concerns about Parris when he accuses him multiple times of greed. While discussing his needs with Proctor, Parris says, “Where is my wood? My contract provides I be supplied with all my firewood. I am waiting since November for a stick!” (Act 1 594-596). Throughout the story he fights with townspeople over fire wood, free candlesticks for the church, and the grant to his house, which has never been given to any minister in town. He is constantly making everything...
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