How Does John Proctor Feel About Reverend Parris?

The Complex Relationship Between John Proctor and Reverend Parris

Hello Reader nawafnet, and welcome to this journal article exploring the relationship between John Proctor and Reverend Parris in Arthur Miller’s play, “The Crucible.” With so much drama and tension between these two characters, it’s no surprise that there are different interpretations of how John Proctor feels about Reverend Parris. In this article, we’re going to delve deeper into their conflicts and analyze their emotions towards each other.

How Does John Proctor Feel About Reverend Parris

The Introduction

Before delving deeper into their relationship, let’s first get an idea of who these two characters are. John Proctor is a respected farmer in Salem who had an affair with Abigail Williams, the main accuser of witchcraft in the play. Reverend Parris is the minister of Salem and the father of Betty Parris, who falls into a strange trance that starts a chain reaction of accusations against people in the community. Unfortunately, their characters are different and their ideologies clash which leads to a great conflict between them.

From the beginning of the play, it’s clear that John Proctor isn’t a fan of Reverend Parris. Their conflicts start when Parris discovers his daughter and niece conjuring spirits in the woods. Instead of handling the situation discreetly, he exposes it to the public resulting in chaos in the community.

After their initial conflict, John Proctor states, “I have trouble enough without I come five mile to hear him preach only hellfire and bloody damnation. Take it to heart, Mr. Parris. There are many others who stay away from church these days because you hardly ever mention God anymore.” (The Crucible, Act 1). This statement shows John Proctor’s resentment towards Reverend Parris and how he is using religion and fear to maintain his authority rather than leading the church to help the people of Salem.

Their relationship becomes even more complicated when Reverend Parris questions Proctor’s character due to his absence in church which results in a mix of anger and frustration for Proctor.

However, throughout the play, it’s clear that John Proctor’s emotions towards Reverend Parris are complex and often conflicted. He understands the importance of religion and yet detests the way it is being used in Salem.

The Strengths and Weaknesses of Their Relationship

The complex relationship between John Proctor and Reverend Parris is one of the strengths of the play. It shows how the conflict between the two can lead to greater revelations about themselves and the community.

One of the strengths is how Arthur Miller portrays the complexity of John Proctor’s emotions towards Reverend Parris. Miller shows how their views of religion and morality clash with each other, and how their pride and individualism lead to greater conflict in the community.

On the other hand, one of the weaknesses of their relationship is the absence of dialogue and communication regarding their conflict. Had they spoken about their differences in a more open way, the events of the play could have been avoided.

However, their relationship is crucial to the play’s theme of the abuse of power and how it leads to mass hysteria and scapegoating. Reverend Parris’ misuse of the church and authority, as well as John Proctor’s past sins, contribute to the events that occur in Salem and show how the community is fractured by individualism and fear.

Table of Complete Information

Emotions of John Proctor Actions of John Proctor Emotions of Reverend Parris Actions of Reverend Parris
Resentment Questioning Reverend Parris’ authority in the church Fear of losing authority Using fear to maintain control over Salem
Anger Expressing his frustration of Reverend Parris’ sermons Distrust of John Proctor Questioning John Proctor’s morality and past
Conflicted Understanding the importance of religion and yet detesting its misuse in Salem Conceited Prioritizing his personal interests over the needs of the community


1. Why does John Proctor feel angry towards Reverend Parris?

John Proctor is angry towards Reverend Parris because of his misuse of authority to maintain power in the community. Parris is more concerned with maintaining his reputation than helping the people of Salem. Proctor believes that Parris should lead the church to help those in need rather than using religion as a tool to control people’s behavior.

2. What is the significance of John Proctor’s past affair in his emotions towards Reverend Parris?

John Proctor’s past affair with Abigail Williams is significant because it shows his own immoral behavior. Reverend Parris uses Proctor’s past sin as a way to undermine his character and question his morality. This ploy further exacerbates the tension between the two.

3. How does Reverend Parris use fear to control the people of Salem?

Reverend Parris uses fear to control the people of Salem by preaching hellfire and brimstone. He instills fear into his congregation by using fire and brimstone sermons, warning of the horrors that await those who fall short of God’s ideals. This fear-based control is a way of maintaining power and control over the community.

4. What inspires John Proctor’s love-hate relationship towards Reverend Parris?

John Proctor’s love-hate relationship towards Reverend Parris stems from their conflicting ideologies. On one hand, Proctor understands the importance of religion and Acknowledges the relevance of the Church in the society. On the other hand, he finds the misuse of religion in Salem to maintain a moral high ground offensive.

5. How does the complex relationship between John Proctor and Reverend Parris reveal their pride?

The complex relationship between John Proctor and Reverend Parris reveals their pride. Reverend Parris is proud of his position of authority in the community. He believes that his opinions are correct, and that he has the necessary skills to lead the community’s religious congregation. John Proctor, too, is proud, but for different reasons: he is proud of his independent spirit and his ability to resist the societal pressure that others succumb to.

6. What is the tragic flaw in John Proctor’s character?

The tragic flaw in John Proctor’s character is his unwillingness to admit to his affair publicly. His prideful nature prevents him from publicly declaring the truth earlier in the play. His shame for his actions is slowly diminishing by confessing to his scrutiny. It is undoubtedly a shame that John Proctor cannot ultimately right his wrongs due to the circumstances of mass-hysteria in Salem.

7. Why does Reverend Parris question John Proctor’s morals?

Reverend Parris questions John Proctor’s morality because of his past affair with Abigail Williams. Reverend Parris is a man who heavily follows religion and its principles. To him, people were either good or evil, right or wrong. The fact that John Proctor had committed adultery in the past causes Reverend Parris to question if Proctor is truly a “good” man, making his position in the community seemingly unstable.

8. What role does individualism play in their conflict?

Individualism plays an important role in their conflict, as it is the cause of their disagreement. Both characters are proud and set in their ways, with their pride often leading to conflict. Reverend Parris is more concerned with keeping his position than supporting the community, while John Proctor has his own views on how a Church and a society should work.

9. How does religion contribute to the conflict between John Proctor and Reverend Parris?

Religion contributes to the conflict between John Proctor and Reverend Parris by being their different ideologies. John Proctor believes that religion should uplift and bring people together, while Reverend Parris misuses religion to maintain his position of power and control through fear and manipulation. This creates a fundamental clash that leads to more significant conflicts in the play.

10. Why does the audience sympathize with John Proctor’s emotions?

The audience sympathizes with John Proctor’s emotions because his character embodies the conflict between individualism and societal norms within the story. He is brave and honest and resists succumbing to societal pressure or manipulation from authorities, which is admirable. His inability to right his past wrongs, such as his affair with Abigail Williams, and his frustration with Reverend Parris’s leadership style only emphasize his humanity.

11. What is the significance of the absence of communication in their relationship?

The absence of communication in their relationship shows the audience the importance of open communication and the damage caused by a lack thereof. If John Proctor and Reverend Parris had communicated their disagreements openly, they might have prevented the conflicts that arose in their relationship. Instead, their pride and stubbornness led to greater damage to Salem Society.

12. How does “The Crucible” highlight the abuse of power?

“The Crucible” highlights the abuse of power by showing how innocent people are falsely accused of witchcraft through Reverend Parris’ fear-mongering tactics and manipulation of the community. The authority figures in the community misused their power by using fear and intimidation to sway the people’s opinions to accuse innocent people of witchcraft. The play is a warning against the dangers of groupthink, mass hysteria, and the importance of individualism in society.

13. What lessons can we draw from John Proctor and Reverend Parris’s relationship in “The Crucible” that can be applied in our lives?

The relationship between John Proctor and Reverend Parris in “The Crucible” can teach us that communication can be critical in resolving conflict. It demonstrates the importance of understanding another’s perspective and the dangers of individualism and misuse of power. The play highlights the significance of having a moral backbone and standing up against wrongdoings and the importance of finding the courage to speak up against any oppression and control.

The Conclusion

In conclusion, John Proctor and Reverend Parris have a complex relationship that is marked by conflicting ideologies and personal pride. They represent opposing views towards religion, power, and societal norms in the community of Salem and is an example of abuse of power. Ultimately, their conflicts contribute to the mass hysteria and downfall of the community. This play’s themes and messages remain essential even today, and it is a lesson to emphasize the importance of communication, morality, individualism, and standing up against abuse of power.

Thank you for reading this article, Reader nawafnet. We hope that it has provided you with valuable insight into the relationship between John Proctor and Reverend Parris in “The Crucible.” We encourage you in your life to challenge individualism and strive to create a stronger community. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask us, and we will try to get back to you as soon as possible.

*Disclaimer: This article is for educational purposes only. The author does not claim ownership of the characters, storylines, or themes discussed in “The Crucible.”*

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