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Inherit The Wind (Scopes Trial) Essay

1042 words - 4 pages

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 actual events that happened to an individual, John Scopes, in Dayton, Tennessee during the 1920’s. 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.
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 man’s a monkey!”(5) The audience also learns that the accused lawbreaker, Bert Cates, and the reverend’s 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.
The theme of Inherit the Wind is, "don't be afraid of new ideas, and you have to let people make up their own minds about things." That theme fits the story really well, because that is the exact opposite of what the people of Hillsboro did, and look what happened there. One man spoke his mind, and a trial that made history was held. No one should be afraid to speak their mind, and people should not automatically reject a new idea because it is not what they are used to. The characters in Inherit the Wind heard Bert Cates's idea, didn't like it, and sent him to jail, not even giving his idea a chance. So, think before you judge someone else's ideas, because you never know how worthwhile they may end up being.
What caught my attention to this play was that 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. (Although some were ficticous) 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. In my opinion the theme’s purpose was achieved through the expression of becoming open with new ideas and leaving the play as unbiased form.
The author’s key style as well highlighted humour, as a comic relief. They used it as a tool to decrease the stress of the characters and the trial itself. For instance when Brady sarcastically says to Drummond “is the defense showing us the latest fashion in the city of Chicago?”(40), and Drummond strikes back with slapping his suspenders down to attract the attention of the court. They want laughter aroused in the courtroom. Hornbeck himself is in the play to create some cynical humor. Though it is not exactly a...

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