It was upon this hysteria that Republican Senator Joseph McCarthy grounded his notorious hearings after concluding, quite without proof, that the United States Department of State was peppered with communists and that the communist influence in the media was threatening the very fabric of American society. Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee, liberals appalled at what was happening as the McCarthy hearings chipped away at the constitutional rights of many notable Americans, particularly playwrights and others in the arts, wrote the play.
How is his character tragic?
At the beginning of the play, Brady has confidence in his abilities to win the trial. Scornful of the threat that Drummond might present to him as the opposing attorney, Brady never considers the prospect of his subsequent failure.
Later, when he loses their support, his composure crumbles along with his confidence. Brady ran for president in three consecutive elections but never won. This failure plagues him throughout his life and manifests itself during the trial. When Drummond humiliates Brady with questions that expose the contradictions behind his rigid, literal belief in the Bible, Brady becomes a fallen hero.
His death confirms his underwhelming victory in the trial as a profound, fatal disappointment. What does it say about their attitudes toward Southern fundamentalism? Lawrence and Lee mean for us to consider Hillsboro not as an individual town but as a symbol of small towns across America, a symbol of the narrow-mindedness that they believe such towns breed.
Distinctions between urban and small-town life recur throughout the play. Urban living inherently exposes people to more diversity than small-town living—and indeed, progressives more often inhabit cities than they do small towns.
In cities, rapid urbanization, immigration, and technological improvements expose city dwellers to a wide range of new ideas. In Inherit the Wind, the playwrights relate the struggle of fundamentalism against progressivism to the struggle of conservative farmers against the policies of more liberal city-dwellers.
The playwrights place the townspeople of Hillsboro, with their rural dialect, dress, and behavior—some of them illiterate—in contrast with E. Hornbeck and Henry Drummond, sophisticated and eloquent city dwellers.
Reverend Brown, the most visible figure of authority in Hillsboro, displays an extreme narrow-mindedness that has no room for the compassion we see in the urban, agnostic Drummond.
Throughout the play, Rachel is caught in a bind between her father, Reverend Brown, and her romantic interest, Cates. The cruel and heartless Reverend Brown not only has frightened Rachel from a young age but also rants at a town prayer meeting that her soul is damned for supporting Cates.Inherit the Wind is a dramatization of the challenge of thinking differently in a close-minded society.
While a thinly disguised rendition of the Scope's Monkey Trial, the movie holds its own while being slightly overdramatic. A teacher is arrested for teaching Darwin's theory of evolution /5(2).
One essay prompt might ask you to compare and contrast two characters, while another asks you to trace an image through a given work of literature.
These questions require different kinds of answers and therefore different kinds of arguments.
Another major theme in Inherit the Wind is the value of every person's ability to think and have ideas. The message that Lawrence and Lee convey through Drummond is that when people think and have ideas, they are not standing still. Inherit the Wind is a dramatization of the challenge of thinking differently in a close-minded society.
While a thinly disguised rendition of the Scope's Monkey Trial, the movie holds its own while being slightly overdramatic. A teacher is arrested for teaching Darwin's theory of evolution /5(2). The stage directions in Inherit the Wind say that the play takes place "not too long ago." What does this direction tell us about how we should understand the play's events?
How do we apply the play's moral lessons to today? The stage directions in Inherit the Wind say that the play takes place "not too long ago." What does this direction tell us about how we should understand the play's events?
How do we apply the play's moral lessons to today?