Inherit the wind takes place in July in a rural town called Hillsboro. The play describes itself saying that it takes place in the not so distant past; however the play was written based on the famous scopes trial in 1925 so it may have been set around that era. The place take about a week from the time we meet the protagonist Bertram Cates until his sentence is read in court. The story is written in third person, because it is a play and is not inside the mind of one specific character. The story began by introducing us to a young boy named Howard picking up worms after a recent rain shower.
He talks to a young girl named Melinda and tells her about how the earth was once covered with water and how she used to be a worm. Soon after that we meet a young school teacher named Rachel who is on her way to meet her fellow colleague and love interest Bertram Cates. After he has been thrown in jail on charges of teaching Darwin’s Origin of Species. Soon after that the prosecuting lawyer Mr. Brady comes into town, and is given the title of honorary Colonel. Colonel Brady is a very well educated man who is very cocky, and has a deep belief in the bible.
He shows his self confidence y speaking to people though out the book as though they are inferior, and tries to reject any action that the defense tries to make. He repeatedly denies witnesses that the defense wishes to offer. He also denies reading any evidence, because he claims that it is unlawful. Colonel Brady has a deep belief in the bible. He shows his knowledge of the bible by quoting scripture in the book including the title of the book. He is even called to the witness stand by Colonel Drummond, because he is said to be an expert on the bible.
During that time on the stand he is asked about ertain passages that he can recall from memory. He is described as a town hero, because he is fighting the evil known as Darwinism Hillsboro. Colonel Drummond is a large scary looking man who will always get his way through his resourcefulness, or his persuasiveness. Drummond shows his persuasiveness by proving a majority of his clients not guilty even if they have lots of evidence against them. He has an ability to manipulate people, so that they will put him in a better situation to win his cases.
He was even persuasive enough to convince the judge to promote him to honorary colonel because he believed it would ook as though Brady was superior to him. Drummond shows his resourcefulness when is unable to call anyone to the stand to help his case, so he decides to call the prosecution to the stand calling him an expert on the bible. He also shows his resourcefulness by proving his point without using using Darwin’s Origin of Species. Another way he shows his resourcefulness is by working around a very biased jury.
Inherit the wind begins with a young boy named Howard picking up worms after a storm the night before, so that he can go fish. Next a young girl named Melinda walked by and started talking to Howard. Then Howard tells her about how she came from a worm, and how the world was originally all ocean. In the next scene we meet a young school teacher named Rachel going to the jail to talk to her fellow school teacher and love interest Bertram Cates who was arrested after teaching Darwin’s Theory of Evolution in class.
The next scene talks about the Parade and picnic they threw for the prosecution Mr. Brady when he came into town. At the parade they promote Mr. Brady to Colonel Brady, and Brady meets Rachel, and asks her to speak at the trial. Also at the picnic Brady finds out that the defending attorney is Henry Drummond, and he realizes that this will not be an easy victory. The story continues on a hot day in the courtroom where they are deciding whether the jury is fit for making an unbiased sentence. However when Drummond tries to deny one of the clearly biased jury members, he is denied.
However when Drummond accepts a jury member Brady would deny him because he believed he was being manipulated. After choosing the jury they are adjourned for the day, because of the extreme heat. Next there is a church service held in the town, that basically condemns Cates. Reverend Brown prays that God will ring down his condemnation on Cates for teaching Darwinism. Unable to defend himself Brady tells the exuberant crowd that can’t condemn him, and that they need to forgive all of gods children. In the next scene that are back in the courtroom, and Brady is questioning Howard, the little boy from earlier.
Howard said that he told them about Darwinism and how the earth was made in millions of years. The next witness that Brady brings to the stand is Rachel, and she tells him why he is no longer a member of the church. She also tells the jury about how he said that God didn’t create man and that man created God. She is motionally torn, and is unable to continue. When it is the defense’s turn to present evidence, Drummond is unable to bring anyone to the stand except for Brady, and he is unable to use the book of Darwin to make his case.
Drummond makes his case, by essentially attacking the book of Genesis, and how long exactly was the days length as described in Genesis. The days as described in Genesis could have taken millions of years each. The climax of the story occurs when Cate’s sentence is read at the end of the trial. The jury’s decision is that Cate is guilty of the crime however instead of jail time he will only have to pay a one undred dollar fine. Drummond instead of just accepting the fine appealed that they should take this case to the Supreme Court of the state.
Dumbfounded Brady wishes to say a few words before everyone leaves, but before he can finish his speech he collapses, and dies of a busted belly due to stress eating. Rachel and Bertram leave, and the story ends as the reoccurring reporter Hornbeck picks up both the bible and book of Darwin and puts them in his bag. The theme of Inherit the Wind is the freedom of thinking. It is shown in the story when Drummond is not allowed to use the ook of Darwin he asks people questions about their faith and how everyone has a right to think, and question the very things that may seem fact.
This happens several times like when Drummond is questioning Brady, and when he is judging whether the jury is fit. The title Inherit the Wind fits the book, because it is a quote from the book of proverbs that states “He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind”. This used twice in the book, once by Brady trying not to condemn Cates. The other time it is used is when it is being used by Drummond to describe Brady after he has already died.