Inherit The Wind Book Report

1284 words - 5 pages

Inherit the Wind Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee Inherit the Wind is a fictional account of a historical event known as the Scopes Monkey Trial. In social studies books, a short paragraph is frequently devoted to this case to illustrate how religious fundamentalists and free thinkers were at odds in the early twentieth century. The actual trial paired the famous lawyers Williams Jennings Bryan for the prosecution and Clarence Darrow for the defense. The authors have added a prologue to the play to explain that this play is a loose dramatization of the famous case. The names are changed and the setting is "not too long ago" in a "small town." Although the Scopes Monkey Trial made it into the history books, many similar cases have probably been tried in courtrooms around the country in the past and will continue to be tried as long as there are free thinkers and scientific advancement. The play begins with a humorous scene between a young boy, Howard, who is collecting worms for fish bait, and a girl named Melinda, who finds worms to be disgusting. Howard taunts Melinda that she is a descendent of a worm and that her father is a monkey. Melinda is horrified by his sinful talk. These two young characters represent both sides of the argument that will soon take place inside the courtroom. Rachel, a young schoolteacher in Hillsboro, enters the courthouse to see Bert Cates, the accused. Rachel believes that Cates is guilty and desperately wants him to admit his mistake so everyone can go back to their normal lives. Cates knows he has broken the law by exposing his students to Charles Darwin's theory of evolution. He does not deny that there is a God, but merely believes that creation took longer than six days. He does not believe the Bible should be taken literally. Rachel is the preacher's daughter and is caught between traditional beliefs and her relationship with Bert. There is great anticipation at the arrival of Matthew Harrison Brady, the lawyer for the prosecution and a presidential hopeful. He is also a pompous arrogant politician who the town has honored by giving him the title of colonel in the state militia. The street scene is like a carnival with lemonade stands, Bibles, and banners. Brady is the big fish in the little pond.E.K. Hornbeck is a newspaper reporter for the Baltimore Herald, who has come to cover the story. He is the outsider who acts as a commentator of the events. Hornbeck views this small town as provincial and supports Cates by writing an article for his paper depicting him as a hero. Henry Drummond has been hired by Hornbeck to defend Bert Cates. The excitement of Brady's arrival is counterbalanced by the sense of dread surrounding Drummond. The red setting sun gives Drummond the aura of the devil as he enters the town. Hornbeck welcomes him to "Hell." In Scene II of Act I, the battle has begun. Since the opinion of the entire town is more important than that of the judge...

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