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How does John Proctor feel about Reverend Parris in Arthur Miller's play, "The Crucible"?

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Quick Answer

In Arthur Miller's play, "The Crucible," the character of John Proctor is critical and even scornful of the character of Reverend Parris. He criticizes the fact that the reverend never mentions God in his sermons and also for his greed in being the first minister in Salem to demand ownership, in the form of a deed, of the parish house in which he is living.

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Full Answer

Proctor is critical of the fact that while he fails to mention God, the reverend's sermons are full of mentions of hellfire; that he influences his parishioners through fear of God's punishment. He expresses his opinion of the reverend directly. When he himself is criticized by Putnam for not attending church regularly, he says, "I have trouble enough without I come 5 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 any more."

However, despite his attitude, Proctor's actions actually show weakness as well as moral strength. While he complains to Putnam and the Reverend Parris, he does so only when challenged. Rather than confront him directly at first, Proctor chooses simply to stop going to church. It is one of several examples where Proctor displays both strength and weakness of character.

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