Eric RepasLit Analysis 11/ 7/96Characterization of Reverend Samuel ParrisThroughout The Crucible we are introduced to and follow four or five importantcharacters that Arthur Miller elaborated upon. One of those characters is ReverendSamuel Parris, a bitter minister who came to Salem for unclear reasons. That reason mayhave been he was looking for a small town to control, maybe he was trying to escapesomething or someone, or he may have just wanted a fresh, clean start; whatever thatreason was it is for sure he had no idea what he was going to start.
If the blame of the Salem Witchcraft Trails were to be traced back to one individual it would certainly beReverend Parris. When we are first introduced to Parris he is at the side of his daughters bedpraying for his recovery. It is Parris who calls in Hale and other experts so that a curemay be found for his daughter. Once word got out that there were witch hunters in Salemall hell broke loose. As three warrants are sent out to arrest the supposed witches the longblood bath that is to follow is set into motion.Order now
During the trials Parris is sure to attack thecharacter of every defendant leaving no one pure. When Frances Nurse brings a petitionwith 91 names on it, a petition to set Rebecca, Goody Proctor, and Martha Corey freeParris demands that all those on the list be called in for questioning. pg93Danforth, glancing at the list: How many names are here?Frances: Ninety-one, Your Excellency. Parris, sweating: These people should be summoned.
Danforth looks up at him questioningly. For questioning. Parris: This is a clear attack upon the court!Parris also attacks Mary Warren harshly when she changes sides to help JohnProctor clear his wife’s name. Once Mary claims she fainted at will he tries to make herprove this, and once he has weakened her whole defensive stand, the other girls move infor the kill forcing her to turn on the man she could have saved. Parris could not let it beproven that the girls were liars for if it was both his daughter and niece would be caught inthe middle of this elaborate fabrication. Of course if they were proven to be the liars itwould reflect upon his own character and involvement in the bloody game.
In the end of the novel Parris does show remorse for the whole ordeal, once JohnProctor is sentenced to hang Parris finally realizes that this has all been wrong. Parrispleads with Elizabeth to convince John to convince so that his life will be spared for this isblood that will be on Parris’s own hands. But do not be followed this is also a selfish actfor if he could have gotten Proctor to confess it would have justified the other hangings. pg145Parris (In deadly fear to Elizabeth) : ” Go to him Goody Proctor! There is time yet!”From outside a drumroll strikes the air.
Parris is startled. Elizabeth jerks about toward the window. Parris: Go to him! He rushes out the door as to hold back his fate. Proctor! Proctor!Samuel Parris was a man who used the Trails for vengeance, vengeance foreverything that has ever happened to him. For once in his life this man had absolutepower, although once this power was used his role of importance was taken away byDanforth and others. Maybe it was that once he was knocked of his pedestal he finallyrealized all this was wrong.
Maybe by the end of the novel he finally realized that he waswrong there were no witches, or it could have been he just wanted the satisfaction ofProctors confession; but whatever it was it really doesn’t matter now all are dead andgone. Without Parris the Trails would not have escalated to what they became or justmaybe they would have never even began.Category: English