The Crucible : Character Profiles - Reverend Parris

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Nabilah Chowdhury, 11Ra Character Profile: Reverend Parris
Character Profile ­ Reverend Parris
Opening Impression:
Parris is a symbol of religion, thus his character could reflect the restrictive nature of religion as it has been
used to scare individuals, thus religion can also be used as a form of control.
Additionally, the fact that Parris thinks purely from one perspective suggests that Miller is trying to use Parris
to reflect the extent to which religion has affected society as it has manipulated Parris into thinking that
restriction, conformity and lack of amusement is the right way to live life.
The fact that this shame concern outweighs his worry over his suffering daughter clearly paints a picture of
him as selfish.
Further examples of Parris's greed include: quibbling over firewood, insisting on gratuitous golden
candlesticks for the church and demanding (against time-honored tradition) that he have the deed to the
house he lives in.
Quotations & Analysis:
(Discovered kneeling beside the bed. Evidently in prayer)
Parris' posture of kneeling could be reflecting his helplessness and weakness in front of his sick daughter.
(There is little good to be said for him)
Here the narrator, who is meant to have an unbiased view (although of course it is essentially Miller's voice),
reflects that the Reverend may think very highly of himself, however he does not seem to have a great
"In meeting, he felt insulted if someone rose to shut the door without first asking his permission"
Reflects how Parris thinks that he has a lot of authority and has a higher status than the other members of the
Parris also seems to like this authority and expects everyone to inform him of everything that happens, even
the smallest of things.
"Like the rest of Salem, never conceived that the children were anything but thankful for being permitted to
walk straight, eyes slightly lowered, arms at the sides and mouths shut until bidden to speak."
Parris embodies the lack of freedom in the town, which is one of the reason why Abigail, Tituba and others
start to create the whole lies about witchcraft so that they can have more attention and freedom.
"REVEREND PARRIS is praying now, and, though we cannot hear his words, a sense of confusion hangs about
Seems like he is confused about his beliefs, and is not fully devoted as he is mumbling at a time when he
should really believe in God to help him out.
There is a sense of worry in the tone of the stage directions.
"hear him preach only hellfire and bloody damnation"
John Proctor points out that he has made Christianity very negative and does not show any goodness of
This could reflect how Parris is a very one sided man, i.e. he only focuses on the bad side of religion, and likes
the restriction; he seems to be against the freedom, dancing and fun which the girls in the play were having
including his daughter, Betty.
GCSE English Literature Exam Notes

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Nabilah Chowdhury, 11Ra Character Profile: Reverend Parris
"Thirty-one pound is gone. I am penniless." "He covers his face and sobs."
Most despicably we see Parris cry ­ not because of all the people who he's helped to senselessly murder,
but because Abigail stole his money and he's now broke.
By the end of the play, Reverend Parris is thoroughly exposed as the selfish man he is.
"Tonight, when I open my door to leave my house - a dagger clattered to the ground...…read more


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