Summary


Based off of the real Scopes monkey trials in the 1920's, Inherit the Wind by Jerome Lawerence and Robert E. Lee is a renowned play that battles out the right to think. A school teacher named Bertram Cates disrupts the peace of the small town of Hillsboro by teaching the theory of evolution to his sophomore science class, an action that was clearly forbidden by the law. The frenzy his actions set upon Hillsboro increased when two noted lawyers Matthew Harrison Brady and Henry Drummond, and a cynical, sarcastic newspaperman named E. K. Hornbeck, all come to the quaint town to battle the ideas in court. The town's favoritism towards Brady becomes clear when they prepare a picnic with venders of all kinds while the crowd sang, "It's good enough for Brady and it's good enough for me!" However, Drummond does not receive such a warm welcome as he is called the "devil" and the "agent of darkness". Rachel Brown, daughter of Reverend Jeremiah Brown, is torn between her love for Cates and her devotion to her father throughout the play. Finally, the first day of the trial arrives and after the lawyers picked the jury, court is adjourned for the day and an intense prayer meeting follows that night where the Reverend curses his own daughter, Rachel, for sticking up for Bert. Two days later, Brady interrogates his two witnesses Howard, a boy in Cate's science class, and Rachel who reluctantly takes the stand. Brady is easily gliding through the case with seemingly the whole town on his side. On the other hand, the judge won't allow Drummond to use any science experts as witnesses for his defense so, he unexpectedly calls to the stand Brady. After wearing him down a bit, Drummond finally cracks open the case when he is discussing that a day, in the book of Genesis, could have been any amount of time and gets Brady to agree it is possible. Drummond does not stop there though continuing to ridicule Brady in front of the town until court is adjourned for the day and Brady sulks to his Wife. Though it seems as if not guilty should be the obvious response, the jury rules guilty and the judge orders a fine, that was greatly decreased due to the mayors worry a ruckus before the upcoming elections, of 100 dollars. After the trial, Brady attempts to make a speech to the crowd but no one will stop mingling and listen to him. This gets to him so bad that he topples to the ground head-first. After hearing that Brady has passed on, Bert and Rachel plan to catch the next train out of the town as she has finally decided to go against her father for love. The play concludes with Drummond clasping both the bible and a book on evolution together in his briefcase as he walks off stage.


Characters


Matthew Harrison Brady, a notorious politician from the north, is greatly admired by the townspeople of Hillsboro. Brady, confident and full of pride in himself, loves to be in the spotlight and is so self-centered that he tells the court that he is a prophet of God. Matthew Harrison Brady does not deal with humiliation very well and when no one listens to his speech, he ends up collapsing and dying.

Henry Drummond, another famous lawyer from the north, is said to be the "agent of darkness" by the people of Hillsboro and is not welcomed. Though he may not personally believe in the theory of evolution, he does believe in the right for each and every person to have the right to think what they want. Drummond gives a lot of advice and insight throughout the play appearing as the "wise one" of the characters.

E. K. Hornbeck is a cynical and sarcastic newspaperman in his middles thirties from a well-known paper in the city called the Baltimore Herald. He continually mocks and jokes about the town and Brady while he critically reports the story of the trial.

Bertram Cates, a 24 year-old quiet and kind man, is brought to jail for teaching his class the theory of evolution. His love for Rachel nearly makes him give it all up, but he knows he did no wrong and perseveres. Cates looks at things in different and thoughtful ways compared to that of the majority of the inhabitants of Hillsboro.

Rachel Brown is 22 years old and teaches at the same school as Cates. Though she is forced to testify against him, Rachel holds strong and ends up going against the wrath of her father at the end of the play for the love of her life, Cates.

Rev. Jeremiah Brown, the religious leader of Hillsboro, is described by Rachel as a heartless and fearsome man. He goes as far as calling a curse upon his own daughter, Rachel, when she sticks up for Bert.




Likes/Dislikes


All in all, Inherit the Wind was an enjoyable book to read. I thought it was interesting that the play was actually based on real life events, the Scopes Monkey Trials. I also, thought it was clever the authors showed the characters evolving as we should and do in real life, learning from our mistakes and from the brave actions of others. The fact that throughout the play the authors could smoothly and easily incorporate different lessons I think also added to the overall positive effect it had on its readers. What made the play more enjoyable to read in class was the fact that we acted it out giving us a better understanding of how the characters acted and felt.



What can we learn from reading this book?


Throughout the play, the authors give us obvious and sometimes even subtle lessons. The most important of these is tolerance. When Drummond puts the two books together in his bag at the end, he's symbolizing that they can co-exist. Even if you don't believe the same thing as your neighbor next to you, it's imperative that you let them believe what they want to. Along those lines, throughout the case, Drummond doesn't argue against creation, but simply the right to believe in evolution. Rachel clearly shows this when she says, "Bad or good, it doesn't make a difference," meaning that though you may not agree, that doesn't matter because you are giving that other person the right to do so. Another important lesson was given through Drummond when he told the story of the Golden Dancer. The moral of his story is what's on the outside is not always what is within and people need to take the time to look behind the glitz and glam. He is basing this off of the trial saying that though it may appear like Cates lost the legal case, he really won because he not only opened the minds of others, but also paved the way for other brave people to do the same in the future. Those few lessons along with many others make up a wonderful play that teaches readers the important things in life.

"It takes a great man to admit that he doesn't know the answer."- Drummond

"He who troubleth in his own house shall inherit the wind."- Proverbs



Essential​ Question?????


How do we handle our individual differences?
Instead of acting out and hating those that are simply different from us or believe different things, we should be tolerant of them even if that does mean we don't accept their ideas. In order to live a harmonious life with the people around us, we need to learn to compromise our differences to a middle point where everyone can be happy.

Does tolerance equal acceptance?
No tolerance does not equal acceptance. In order to accept something, you would have to whole-heartedly agree with it. Contrastingly, tolerance is having a fair and understanding attitude toward the beliefs and opinions of others. Allowing others to think what they want and being tolerant of their ideas is much more important than actually agreeing with or accepting them.

Can we tolerate someone/something without agree with it/them?
Yes. By tolerating someone, you simply are respecting their right to think and allowing them to believe what they want to. Just because you tolerate their beliefs, it doesn't mean you have to agree with them or the idea at hand. Allowing others to think what they want and being tolerant of their ideas can be done without actually agreeing or accepting them and is much more important than complete agreement.



Reflections


What did I learn from this assignment?
I learned the different ways two or more things can be compared in a paper. I re-learned how to write a good generic introduction and the basic layouts of paragraphs. Another point that I reviewed was the correct punctuation and order of the page numbers for the references I used throughout the book, recalling that the period follows the page number that is contained in parenthesis like so, (23).

What did I do well in this unit?
My introduction began wide and focused to a fairly strong thesis statement forming an overall well-written generic introduction. Also, the content was accurate and quotes were used throughout the piece frequently to defend my points with the correct punctuation and page numbers.


What areas could I improve?
I could definitely improve on my transitions and topic sentences. The flow between paragraphs is not always evident and makes the piece sound abrupt and confused. There were about two cases where I used the phrases "there is" or "there are" which though it is not actually considered incorrect, it doesn't sound as good as if I used an action verb in the sentences.