Inherit the Wind is a play showing an intense court case. It is based off of the Scope Monkey Trials which took place in the early twentieth century. It takes place “not too long ago” in the small town of Hillsboro, which is somewhere in the southern United States. Bertram Cates, a school teacher in Hillsboro, is on trial for teaching evolutionist theories in a public school science class at a time when only Divine Creation is legal to be taught. This is a very controversial subject and brings two lawyer giants to the small town of Hillsboro. Matthew Harrison Brady comes to aid in the prosecution and Henry Drummond comes help protect Cates. The townspeople of Hillsboro start out in favor of Brady however as the case progresses Drummond starts to sway some people to his thinking. By the end of the play, although Brady did technically win the case, the judge fined Cates a very small amount for the crime and Brady had been humiliated by Drummond’s examination. Inherit the Wind tells a historic tale while teaching a valuable lesson about people’s initial appearance.

Character Descriptions
Matthew Harrison Brady – Brady is portrayed as the hero for the normal townspeople. He is “a giant of a man… gray, balding, paunchy, an indeterminate sixty-five.” Brady comes to Hillsboro to defend creation against “evilutionist theories.” He is very confident and sure of himself at the play, but by the end is humiliated. Brady dies at the end of the book from a “busted belly.”

Henry Drummond - Drummond is potrayed as the "bad guy" at the beginning in of the play. The first words spoken to him when he arrives in Hillsboro are from Hornbeck, "Hello Devil, welcome to hell." From there things do not get much better for Drummond. The vast majority of the people, including the judge, are against Drummond and all that he stands for, which is why it is almost impossible for him to be treated fairly.

Bertram Cates - Cates is a Hillsboro public school teacher who challenges the law that states that you cannot teach anything but Divine Creation by teaching Darwin's theories of evolution to his class.

Rachel Brown - Rachel is a school teacher who works with Cates. They have a romantic relationship and Rachel is conflicted when Cates gets arrested because what he did goes against her beliefs. She also i afraid side with Cates because her father is the reverend of the small town.

Reverend Brown - Rachels father, he strongly opposes Cates, Drummond, Hornbeck, and all they stand for. He holds a prayer meeting in which he condemn his daughter for siding with Cates. This shows his strict hand, even towards his own daughter.

E.K. Hornbeck - a cynical Baltimore Journalist who comes to the small town of Hillsboro looking for a story. He is an evolutionist who doesn't let any opportunity to ridicule the christian religion slip by.

I liked the book because the topic is highly controversial. It was also extremely entertaining and helped me connect better the way we acted out each of the characters in class. My favorite character in the book is easily Hornbeck. I find his humor and sarcasm extremely funny and entertaining. There was nothing about the book that I disliked. However there were some parts of the book which were somewhat dry, it was not too dry that I thought about it constantly or that i bugged me.

Essential Questions

How do we handle individual differences?
Everyone handles individual differences differently. Some turn to hatred or anger, others can accept other peoples difference. Everyone should just learn to deal with differences in other people with understanding.
Does tolerance equal acceptance?
Just because somebody is tolerant of something doesn't mean they accept it. Tolerance basically means that you can ignore it enough to deal with it. Acceptance, on the other hand, is not only dealing with other people's differences, but acting with compliance towards those differences.
Can we tolerate someone/something without agreeing with them/it?
It is completely possible to tolerate something without agreeing with it. One doesn't have to agree with someone in order to deal with someone else's opinions about something.

What can we learn from reading this book?
There are several things we can learn from reading this book. The essay we wrote explains how this book teaches us that not all people are how they initially appear. It also teaches us that everyone should be tolerant or acceptant of other peoples beliefs, ideas, or opinions. It also teaches us to learn as much as possible about both sides of an argument before opposing one.


This assignment made me think harder about what different characteristics actually developed in Brady's character. It made me realize how the theme really presents itself. I think that I did a good job identifying all of the changes in Brady's character and finding different supporting text for each development. Although I did find many good supports, I did not present them very well and made many grammatical errors. Overall I could improve on my essay writing skills.