Inherit the Wind Essay

Published: 2020-02-26 03:02:22
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Category: Blue Winds Dancing

Type of paper: Essay

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Inherit the Wind, a play written by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee, was first produced as regional theater in 1955. It is based on an actual trial held in Tennessee over 30 years earlier. The central theme of the play is not religion versus Darwinism. The character Henry Drummond tells the audience the theme when he says that the right to think is on trial. Religion is a metaphor and the motifs come to reveal how and why the right to think is being tried. Drummond makes his case convincingly in several ways.

This paper will recount some of the arguments bolstering his thesis. The idea that religion has the right to quash any science which seems to contradict its teachings goes back well over a thousand years. Some of the greatest scientific minds ever known were arrested, prosecuted and murdered in the name of religion. The citizens of this country have not only freedom of religion, but also a tacit freedom from religion. This play examines whether it is constitutional to ban the teaching of science in opposition to biblical canon.

In a broader perspective, however, the play, deviating from reality, is a metaphor for all forms of thought crime, such as was prevalent during the period when the play was first performed. The character of the prosecutor, Matthew Harrison Brady, a fundamentalist, relies primarily on the bible, calling it the revealed word. The entire prosecution is based on proving the defendant, Bertram Cates, is a non-believer. This argument is specious on so many levels that constraints of this paper do not permit full rebuttal.

The defense argument runs that religion is little more than unproven superstition, calling it an old wives tale. The defense made its case more convincingly. Religion is about turning untested belief into absolute fact through the passage of time. American citizens should always have the right to think. To ban science for religions sake is ultimately ignorance.

References Lawrence, J. and Lee, R. Inherit the Wind NAME OF THE BOOK ITS IN Ed. (Name of editor) City where published: publisher, date published

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