Inherit The Wind

The Theme of Inherit the Wind

The theme of Inherit the Wind by Jerome Lawrence and Robert Lee is the right to think. One example that supports the theme is that Drummond tries to prove Bert Cates is on trial because he uses his right to think. Drummond asks Howard’s opinion on morality, so he can establish that “anyone in this courtroom . . . has the right to think” (64). Drummond tells the jury that Cates didn’t commit a crime by teaching evolution and shouldn’t be penalized because “he chooses to speak what he thinks” (64). Drummond wants the to convince the jury that Cates is going to be deprived of his right to think if he is found guilty. Another example that supports the theme is that Rachel realizes she has to respect Cates’ right to think. In the beginning of the play, Rachel tells Cates to admit that he is wrong. Because she is afraid of what she might think, “it seem[s] safer not to think at all” (111). However, she realizes later that she needs to respect Cates’ beliefs and his right to think even if she does not agree with him. After Rachel reads the Origin of Species, she decides that “[b]ad or good, it doesn’t make any difference” (111). Another example that supports the central idea of the play is that Drummond believes Brady and Cates should be able to decide whether to believe in the Bible or the Origin of Species. After Brady dies, Hornbeck criticizes Brady for being too religious. Drummond defends him from Hornbeck’s criticism by telling him that both Cates and Brady have “the right to be wrong” (114). Drummond balances the Bible and the Origin of Species in his hands and puts them in his briefcase “side by side” (115). Even though Drummond thinks the both of the books equally, Brady and Cates have the right to think that one is more important than the other. The theme of Inherit the Wind is the right to think.

Works Cited:
Lawrence, Jerome, and Robert E. Lee.
Inherit the Wind.
Econo-Clad Books. October, 1999.

Category: English