February 10, 2013
The Almighty and Powerful Brady
When a person who’s put on a pedestal far higher than what they have achieved, falls, disappointment and grief affect many people who once looked upon that great man. In the novel, Inherit the Wind, Jerome Lawrence and Robert Edwin Lee show the reader the turmoil and contemplations that occurred during the 1925 Scopes Monkey Trial. This trial brought up the conflicts between modern science and Biblical teachings. In his attempt to seek justice, Matthew Harrison Brady displayed the characteristics of someone who is egotistical, self-righteous, and arrogant.
Instead of basing the trial on the Bible vs. evolution alone, Brady used this trial to better his self-image and “campaign”. As Brady arrives in Hillsboro, he is given the honorary title of Colonel in the state militia. When the mayor declares Brady this title, Brady replies saying, “’Colonel Brady.’ I like the sound of that!” (22). Although he has never served in the state militia, which would award him the title of Colonel, he happily accepts this position. Whenever Brady refers to the people of Hillsboro, he refers to them as friends in order to come across more favorable and relatable. During Reverend Brown’s sermon, as he calls on God to lay his wrath on those who believe in Bert, Brady says “and we, the Children of God, should forgive each other. My good friends, return to your homes” (67). Brady wants to be seen as an honest and good-natured man to appeal to his audience. His ego prevents him from treating the people of the town as equals; instead, he treats them more as children he can manipulate for his own personal gain.
During the trial, Brady evokes the ideals of Biblical teaching in order to advance his agenda. Brady questions Rachel on her method of teaching, by asking her, “Has Mr. Cates ever tried to pollute your mind with his heathen dogma?” (25). Brady is determining whether Cates’ point of view is reasonable...