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MonkeyNotes-Inherit the Wind by Jerome Lawrence & Robert E. Lee
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Act 2, Scene 2

Summary

It is two days later, and the court is in session. Brady is examining Howard, a boy that attends Cates' school. Howard tells the court that Mr. Cates taught his class about evolutionary theory. Howard seems to have learned the information well, for he has a clear concept of Darwinism. As Howard testifies, Brady asks very leading questions and makes jokes for the benefit of the people in the courtroom. Drummond is constantly making objections, but the judge overrides them. When Brady addresses the courtroom, Drummond asks the judge to remind Brady that he is not holding a revival. He should be addressing his remarks to the jury, composed entirely of men. Brady sums up his questioning with a speech about the dangers of letting this kind of teaching continue. He claims that the result will be a new generation of godless people.

Drummond cross-examines Howard. When Brady objects to his line of questioning, Drummond explains that he is trying to establish that everyone has a right to think and that the prohibition of evolution in the classroom is a prohibition of thinking. Drummond concludes the questioning by asking Howard if he feels he has been harmed by Cates' teaching. He asks if the boy can still pitch in baseball and if he has murdered anyone since breakfast. He then asks Howard if he believes that a tractor is sinful because it is not in the Bible. Brady jumps up to make a speech about Drummond being the enemy of "right." Drummond answers the charge, saying he does not care about right, only truth.


Rachel is next called to testify. Brady asks her to repeat what she has told him about Cates' ideas. When she is reluctant to answer, Brady supplies the ideas that she has told him. It comes out that Cates quit going to church two years earlier, for he does not agree with Reverend Brown's teachings. When one of Cates' favorite students died, Reverend Brown said the boy would burn in hell forever because he died a sinner. A person in the courtroom shakes his fist at Cates and calls him a sinner. Cates stands up and reminds the people that religion is supposed to be a comfort. Brady returns to questioning Rachel. She reveals that Cates once joked that God created people and that people then turned around and created their own god. Brady tries to lead her to another of the revelations she made to him, but she gets so emotionally overwrought that she cannot speak. Brady excuses her from the bench. Drummond objects, but Cates asks him to leave Rachel alone; Drummond agrees.

It is now Drummond's turn to call witnesses. When he tries to call Dr. Amos D. Keller, head of the Department of Zoology at the University of Chicago, as an expert witness, the judge refuses to let him. He tries to call several more witnesses, but the judge refuses each one of them. Finally, the judge says Drummond cannot call any witness to testify about the validity of evolutionary theory. He reminds Drummond that the trial is not about evolution; the trial is about whether Cates broke the law when he taught evolution in his classroom. Drummond is visibly shaken by the fact that he cannot proceed as planned. Gathering his thoughts, he turns and asks the judge if he can discuss creationism. When the judge says it is permissible, Drummond calls Brady to the stand. After a flurry of objections from Davenport, one of the prosecution attorneys, Brady steps forward with pride and self-confidence and says he will be glad to take the witness stand.

The people in the court are clearly behind Brady, applauding at everything he says. Drummond remains calm and continues his questioning. He establishes the fact that Brady considers himself to be an authority on the Bible. He then tries to read from Darwin's Origin of the Species, but the judge refuses to let him; he does, however, establish the fact that Brady has never read Darwin. Drummond then borrows the Bible from the clerk of the court and begins to question Brady on specific passages. He asks Brady if he believes that every word in the Bible should be taken literally. Brady says that it should be. Drummond asks if this literal reading should apply to Jonah and the whale. Brady answers that God can make a whale and make a man, and he can also make them do as He wishes. The people in the court say, "Amen!"

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