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For His Own Well Being

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For His Own Well-Being

"Looking out for number one." Man has a natural selfish nature, but to live in harmony this nature must be overcome. Sadly, this often is not the case. In "The Crucible" by Arthur Miller, Reverend Parris' paranoid, self-pitying, and deceitful nature cause problems in Salem.

Reverend Parris is paranoid about his reputation in Salem. He is purely concerned about keeping his good name. Rumors of witchcraft were starting to spread in Salem, and Parris wanted to be sure not to be involved. After finding out that his own daughter might be involved in this whole mess, Parris tells his daughter: "Look you, child... 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"(19). Reverend Parris' own daughter might be in a bond with the devil, and yet his greatest fear remains that he will lose his reputation if anyone finds out. In the actual court case Parris remains paranoid about losing his good name, and reputation, which seems to already be disintegrating even without the trials. In the trial when the judges call on John Proctor, Parris makes sure to tell them that Proctor is mischief (80). Parris is scared of anyone who does not agree with him, and might jeopardize his position. While becoming decreasingly popular, Parris becomes more and more paranoid. He is scared to go outside because he found a dagger in front of his door and thinks that someone is out to get him (112). Parris is paranoid about losing his name and his own well being in Salem.

Reverend Parris expresses self-pity throughout the story; even though he is quite well off compared to the rest of Salem. While many people in Salem are being tried of witchcraft, Parris complains about how low his salary is, and how he does now receive enough respect for being a graduate of Harvard University (34). He feels disrespected when people rise to open the door without asking him (13). Parris views himself as being higher than all the others in Salem because he is a minister. When it is suggested that witchcraft has come on his house he is enraged and states that, "We have all manner of licentious people in the village"(44), who should be affected instead of himself. He is more worried about losing his ministry than the fact that his own family members might be hung at the gallows (20). Reverend Parris views things from one viewpoint, and one viewpoint only, and that is his own. His self-pity blinds him from the real problems at hand.

Reverend Parris has a deceitful nature and does not hesitate to push or bend the truth. Reverend Parris teaches only what he wants in his sermons, and he is steadily loosing attendance because instead of speaking of the glory of God, Parris reverts to "Preach only hellfire and bloody damnation"(34), as seen in the eyes of John Proctor. Parris says " There



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