Characterization In Inherit The Wind

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Characterization in Inherit the Wind Written by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee, the play Inherit the Wind is a fictitious spin off of the historical Scopes Monkey Trial of 1925, which hotly debated the concept of evolutionism vs. creationism and, in general, a person’s right to think. In the play, a young man by the name of Bert Cates is prosecuted for teaching evolution in school and breaking the state’s “creation-only” law. His case is taken to court where he fights against the highly exalted paragon of religious devotion, Matthew Harrison Brady. Henry Drummond, an almighty but rather infamous attorney, stands by and defends Cates throughout the whole trial. In the midst of this all, Cates’ lover, Rachel Brown, is torn between her love…show more content…
At the opening of the play, Drummond is extremely unpopular with the townspeople. To put it simply, he’s downright hated. According to Reverend Brown, Drummond is “A vicious, godless man!” (27) Reverend Brown also says, “Henry Drummond is an agent of darkness. We let him in our town!” (27) These brutal statements alone show the pure abhorrence that is ebbing out of the town’s citizens. Plus, when Melinda, the little girl, first sees Drummond, she gasps and exclaims fearfully, “It’s the Devil!” (36) Drummond’s character also seems very unsympathetic at the beginning of the book. When he gets Brady on the stand, he ruthlessly batters him with questions and even goes so far as to embarrass and mock Brady. For example, Drummond says, “Extend the Testaments! Let us have a Book of Brady! We shall hex the Pentateuch and slip you in neatly between Numbers and Deuteronomy!” (101) These words, directed at Brady from Drummond, are rather unnecessary and cruel on Drummond’s part. In addition, Henry Drummond appears to be a very intimidating and malicious evolutionist. He is immediately portrayed as the bad guy in the story; the person defending Cates only in order to wreck the townspeople’s faith in the Bible. According to Brady, “He wants to destroy everyone’s belief in the Bible, and in our God!” (98) Yet, at the end of the…show more content…
At the start of Inherit the Wind, Rachel is very desperate to try and get Bert to just throw himself at the mercy of the court and admit that what he did was wrong. She visits him when he is still in jail and pleads with him to apologize about teaching evolution and promise never to do it again. For example, Rachel says, “Bert it’s still not too late. Why can’t you admit you’re wrong?” (8) This statement expresses just how deep Rachel’s desperation really is. Furthermore, Rachel is extremely dependent in the first half of the play. When she first speaks to Brady about Cates, Brady wants her to testify against him in court. Of course, this distresses Rachel, and she doesn’t know what to do. Therefore she turns to other people for help and advice; she depends on them to tell her what to do. For instance, at one point Rachel, quite distraught, runs to the jail and calls down, “Bert, can you hear me? Bert, you’ve got to tell me what to do. I don’t know what to do-” (31) Rachel depends on Bert to tell her exactly what she needs to do so that everything will be fine again. Also, Rachel Brown appears to very fearful and scared at the beginning of the book. She frightened that Bert will be convicted and end up in jail, she’s mortified at the prospect of possibly having to testify against him in court, and she’s terrified
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