When the doctor can not figure out what is wrong with Betty, the others begin to argue about whether her condition is the effect of witchcraft. We begin to see people taking sides here: those who believe (or want to believe) that witchcraft is to blame and those who would rather use more logical means of finding out the problem. Parris has sent for Hale. Parris is convinced that Hale will confirm witchcraft exists in Salem because Hale has been through this before: "He has much experience in demonic arts . . ."
Putnam basically demands that when Hale arrives, they should use his arrival to look for signs of witchcraft. Putnam's mind is made up. Proctor and others (Rebecca) are skeptical. In the paragraphs that introduce Hale to the reader, we learn that he had an encounter with a so-called witch but this turned out to be "a mere pest." Still, Hale believes witchcraft may exist and Parris intends to use Hale to support the view that witchcraft is a problem in Salem. Hale is sent for because he is an authority on witchcraft.