Analysis of Inherit the Wind

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“The Bible is a book. It’s a good book, but it’s not the only book.” This quote by Henry Drummond in the film sets the scene for the entire story of Inherit the Wind. The idea that the Bible is the only means for teaching is challenged and sends the town into a riot. This paper will explore the conflicts, relevance, characters, stereotypes, acting and directing of Inherit the Wind. These elements come together effectively to create a great classic film. Major conflicts The main conflict of this film is the debate between teaching Creation versus evolution in schools. Bertram Cates is put on trial for teaching his students the concept of evolution. This film is based on incidents from the 1920s, during which religion was prominent and the idea of teaching anything that went against the Bible was blasphemous. In the film, the people of Hillsboro are religious extremists. They participate in many religious protests throughout the film and damn Cates for teaching evolution. This challenges free thinking. Historical Relevance This film is historically relevant because many events such as these did take place during the 1920s. More specifically, the events in this film are based on the 1925 trial Tennessee vs. John Thomas Scopes.This trial also came to be known as “Scopes Monkey Trial” which is referenced throughout the movie. The Butler Act prohibited teaching evolution in Tennessee schools and Scopes challenged this act and taught Darwin’s theory to his class. He was arrested and put on trial. The character of Bertram Cates is based on Scopes. Characters For the most part, the characters in this film are flat. The characters do not seem to change throughout; if they believed evolution should not be taught in the beginning of the film, they felt the same at the end and those who believed in free thinking and that evolution should be taught, also felt the same at the end. The character that stood out the most was Matthew Brady. He was unchanging throughout the...
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