Inherit the Wind
The play Inherit the Wind was written by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee to inform its readers about the injustice of a law that limited the freedom of an ordinary citizen. This play is based upon the upon actual events that happened to an individual, John Scopes, in Dayton, Tennessee during the 1920s. This famous Monkey Trial not only allowed people to begin to accept new theories about the origin of man, but also showed that they did not have to limit themselves in other areas of life. The two authors were passionate about this theme for the play and obviously researched the history of the actual trial, in order to portray it as realistically as possible. This hard work and attention to detail created a very informative and memorable play. The authors choose to present this story in play format so that the characters words and actions could be effectively expressed. This format also allowed the story to be conveyed without any bias to either side. It is in this way that the authors allow each side of the case to speak their minds freely.
The main source for Lee and Lawrences information was the actual trial record found in Dayton, Tennessee, dating back to 1925. They did not use all of the characters or dialogue from the records, instead they elaborated on the actual people and events, also using reporters stories on the case. The authors placed intriguing characters within the play to make the storys events unfold more readily and the become more interesting. The book shows the reader how closed minded that these characters can be when it comes to a new, different idea. This is a valuable book because it teaches its readers to respect the thoughts and beliefs of others, even though they may oppose them.
In the beginning of the play, the authors try to lead us into the topic of Darwinism versus Creationism. One instance was when the character Howard actually told Melinda Your old mans a monkey! The audience also learns that the accused lawbreaker, Bert Cates, and the reverends daughter, Rachel Brown, are in love and are set to be married. Rachel becomes a pertinent part of the trial when Brady starts to question her, against the will of Bert. Brady later shatters Rachels trust in him by putting words in her mouth and trying to make her sound as if she is turning against Bert. Rachel is extremely upset over this happenstance and blames herself for the guilty verdict that is later placed upon her fiancee. The trial takes a great toll on Brady, eventually leading to his death at the end of the play. Drummonds playful, yet intelligent interrogation of Brady took a rapid turn, going from Brady strutting about the Bible to demoralizing Mr. Brady himself. There are many different reasons for his death, some of which include the incredible stress of the trial (Brady: Mother. Theyre laughing at me, Mother! I cant stand it when they laugh at me!) and the heat of the courtroom (On a few occasions the Judge actually dismisses court due to the excessive temperature). Bradys death seems to signify that the battle that faces Bert Cates has a chance that is may work out. Even with this turning point, Drummond knew that his cause was futile in the town that the trial was held. He knew that it had to be taken to a higher power, the State Supreme Court.Words
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