Henry Drummond is an acclaimed criminal-defense lawyer and recognized agnostic, so how could a man such as this respect and appreciate the life of the fundamentalist Christian Matthew Harrison Brady? Throughout the play Inherit the Wind Drummond demonstrates that though his opinions are much different than Brady and many of the townspeople of Hillsboro when it comes to religion, he is able and willing to respect these people’s values and beliefs. After being told of Brady’s death, Drummond’s respect for the man only seems to intensify. Despite Drummond and Brady’s evident past concerning both their old friendship and contrasting views on religion, Drummond still has a fair amount of respect for Brady, and though this does not affect the trial, it does affect the play.
In Brady’s death, it becomes apparent how important Brady was in Drummond’s life, proven with much of what he says, but one line more than the rest. As E.K. Hornbeck picks fun at Brady after his passing, Drummond defends his old friend, “But Matt Brady got lost. Because he was looking for God too high up and too far away.” (114). What Drummond means to say could be interpreted in many different ways, the first, and probably least likely, considering Drummond’s beliefs, could be Brady’s presidential career, or rather lack of. Perhaps Drummond assumes that Brady thought that with power came the ability to become closer with God. Brady had run for president three consecutive times, and it becomes clear how insane this makes Brady by looking at what he was thinking of in his dying moments,
(As he is carried out; in a strange, unreal voice)
Mr. Chief Justice, Citizens of these United States, During my term in the White House, I pledge to carry out my program for the betterment of the common people of this country. As your new President, I say what I have said all of my life…
(The crowd tags along, curious and awed. Only DRUMMOND, CATES, and HORNBECK remain, their eyes fixed on BRADY’S exit. DRUMMOND stares after him) (108).
Here not only are Brady’s troubles with his political career available to see, but this passage also implies that Drummond cares about his well being. Another, though doubtful, option would be that Drummond is giving an example of his faith. Though Drummond never explicitly states his beliefs, he could possibly be giving a hint what religion and God mean to him, that being that God is not a being that lives far away, but rather something that is very close and personal to each person. However the only time the reader has a proper idea of what Drummond might believe is at the very end of the play when he is holding both The Origins of Species and The Bible,
(But RACHEL and CATES are out of earshot. He weighs the volume in his hand; this one book has been the center of the whirlwind. Then DRUMMOND notices the Bible, on the JUDGE’S bench. He picks up the Bible in his other hand; he looks from one volume to the other, balancing...