Inherit the Wind
Study Questions & Essay Topics
1. How does Brady’s character relate to the idea of hubris, or pride? How is his character tragic?
2. What is the significance of the playwrights’ description of the setting of the play? What does it say about their attitudes toward Southern fundamentalism?
3. What purpose does Cates and Rachel’s romantic relationship serve in inherit the wind?
Suggested Essay Topics
1. What is the fundamental conflict in inherit the wind? Discuss the ways in which the playwrights support this theme through their characters and motifs.
2. Why do the playwrights imply, in their note preceding the play, that the themes of their play are timeless and universal? What relevance do these themes have today?
3. How does Melinda and Howard’s interaction in the first scene of inherit the wind foreshadow the play’s main theme?
4. Discuss the historical context of inherit the wind in terms of the Scopes trial and the rapidly changing society of the United States in the 1920s.
5. How does the play speak to the struggle of the individual versus larger society? What message does it contain about the power of the individual to change society?
6. Outline the various techniques Drummond uses over the course of the trial to undermine Brady’s literal interpretation of the Bible. How does Drummond finally humiliate his opponent?
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