The title of Inherit the Wind is taken from Proverbs 11:29: He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind : and the fool shall be servant to the wise in heart.
If you cause troubles in your own house, or family, then you will inherit the “wind ,” meaning you will inherit nothing. The second part goes along, emphasizing the fact that troubling your own family is not the way to go about things.
The predominant theme in Inherit the Wind is freedom of thought . Cates, like Scopes, is arrested for violating the Butler Law, which prohibits teaching evolutionary theory in public schools in Tennessee, effectively censoring what could be taught in public school classrooms.
The focus of Inherit the Wind is the external conflict between Brady and Drummond. The conflict has been referred to as “the legal battle of the [twentieth] century.” Brady, the prosecuting attorney, is on the side of creationism.
1a : to receive from an ancestor as a right or title descendible by law at the ancestor’s death. b : to receive as a devise or legacy. 2 : to receive from a parent or ancestor by genetic transmission inherit a defective enzyme.
The jury finds Cates guilty, and he is fined $100. Brady protests the minimal punishment. Although he won the case, his victory is a hollow one. The real triumph belongs to Drummond and Cates , who win a moral victory for freedom of thought.
Brady is a caricature of the real-life prosecutor William Jennings Bryan . Like Brady, Bryan lost three presidential elections and died shortly after the Scopes Monkey Trial.
The last thing that happens in Inherit the Wind is, after all the yakkity-yak, a silent action. Drummond takes up the Bible in one hand, Darwin’s The Origin of Species in the other, balancing the two books. He puts both of the books in his bag, showing that both of them are important, and leaves the stage.
Climax : The climax occurs when Drummond puts Brady on the witness stand and proves the narrow-mindedness of the state and Brady’s thinking. When Brady is made to look ridiculous, Drummond gains the support of the audience in the courtroom. Brady is visibly upset over the turn of events and can barely speak.
Golden Dancer , a rocking horse Drummond received from his parents as a child, represents the deceptiveness of external beauty. Drummond uses this symbol to convey to Cates the importance of the search for truth and the exposure of people and ideas for what they truly are.
Matthew Harrison Brady The prosecuting attorney. He is a talented orator and an experienced politician. He is a defender of fundamentalism and a self-proclaimed expert on the Bible. He is pompous and self-righteous and is reduced to a tragic figure and ultimately dies after Drummond questions him on the witness stand.