In The Crucible, Parris says 'Oh Abigail, what proper payment for my charity! Now I am undone!'...

Question:

In The Crucible, Parris says ''Oh Abigail, what proper payment for my charity! Now I am undone!'' What does that mean?

Character Background:

In Arthur Miller's The Crucible, Reverend Parris is Abigail Williams' uncle. Abigail lives with him since her parents were murdered by Indians before the start of the play.

Answer and Explanation:

Parris says ''Oh Abigail, what proper payment for my charity! Now I am undone!'' after it is discovered that Abigail and the girls were dancing naked in the woods with Tituba, Parris' slave. Many assume that the girls were doing unsavory things in the forest. Abigail admits to her uncle that they were dancing (which is not permitted in the Puritan religion). Since Parris is the head of the Puritan church and community in Salem, it is particularly upsetting for him that his own niece was found in the middle of these accusations.

Parris is angry with Abigail for betraying the ''charity'' he gave by taking her in when her parents died. Possibly more important to Parris is that his reputation will be ''undone'' by the talk of witchcraft occurring in his own family.


Learn more about this topic:

Arthur Miller's The Crucible: Summary and Quotes

from English 102: American Literature

Chapter 11 / Lesson 7
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