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Putnam tells Parris that he needs to make the announcement himself that he has discovered witchcraft in his household. He tells Parris that if he takes control of the situation now, and tells the town that he is going to take on the task of ferreting out the source of the witchcraft and find out who the witches are, the town will praise him for it. Parris is hesitant for fear the townspeople will look down on him since his daughter is one of the "afflicted". But at Putnam's urging, Parris realizes that he can use this to his advantage if he makes it to seem that his daughter is a victim of witchcraft, not a practitioner of witchcraft. This helps to feed the fire of frenzy and fear that is burning through Salem. Putnam sees this as a chance to control Parris and to get his neighbor's land.
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