Inherit the Wind
The main theme of Inherit the Wind by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee is taking a
stand. The play begins in Hillsboro, Tennessee when a man named Bertram Cates breaks the law
by teaching the forbidden Darwin s Theory. The most famous orators of the time, Matthew
Harrison Brady and Henry Drummond came to this small religious town of Hillsboro. Brady is
prosecuting against Cates and Drummond is defending him. After days of battle, the verdict is
finally decided and Bertram Cates is found guilty.
Many people take stands for different reasons. Some take stands to send a message out
that needs to be sent. That is what happened in this play. A man named Matthew Harrison Brady
did exactly that. A gray-haired man, he believes strongly in the Bible took the stand. Although
his partner Tom Davenport strongly disagreed with Brady s actions. Brady thought that this
would benefit his trial. Your Honor, this is preposterous! (page 75) said Davenport as he tries
to object to Drummond s witness (Brady). The judge believed the actions of Drummond to be
highly unorthodox and claimed to have never known a prosecuting attorney to be called as a
witness. Brady agreed replying, Your Honor, this entire trial is unorthodox. If the interests of
Right and Justice will be served, I will take the stand. (page 75) Brady, at times, can be quite
ignorant and the decision he made to take the witness stand proved it. Brady did not know how
much Drummond knew about the Bible but instead he believed all the rumors he heard about
Drummond be agnostic.
Brady thought everything in the Bible should be taken literally and Drummond knew that.
That is why he asked questions that were impossible to answer. Brady was a very self-centered
man and thought that he would shut Drummond down with his answers. He was wrong.
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Everything he thought was wrong except for one thing: the interests of Right and Justice
was served for Bertram Cates. Many more things could have happened to Brady for taking the
stand. Some things that did happen were that people began to side with Drummond and Cates.
Brady began to have a nervous breakdown because he knew that Drummond got the better of
him. It is too bad, I thought that Drummond would have won the case. That is not what
happened though. Brady won and Bertram Cates was found guilty and fined $100.00 which was
soon to be changed to $500.00 due to Drummond and Cates actions and attitudes toward the
The trial s turning point was when Brady took the stand. I believe that was a horrible
decision because if Brady never took the stand many people would still see his side. I do not
think that what Brady did was correct. Many of his answers were horrible especially when he said
that God speaks to him and tells him what to do and what not to do. He tells him what is good
and bad. I know that it made Brady look like an absolute fool although listening to a higher
power is admirable. He should have kept these inspirations to himself because that may
sometimes have a negative effect on what people think.