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MonkeyNotes-Inherit the Wind by Jerome Lawrence & Robert E. Lee
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Notes

The play ends in victory for Drummond. Although the boastful and egomaniacal Brady wins a guilty verdict for Cates, he destroys himself with his irrational thinking. Knowing that he has made a total fool of himself, he sinks into infantilism, bordering on insanity, and dies. His stroke can be taken symbolically to represent the idea that the false ideas that he stood for are no longer viable in the modern world. The honorable Drummond, who won the admiration of most of the people attending the trial, refuses to celebrate Brady's demise. In fact, he is saddened by the fact that someone who had such potential took the wrong path and became what he did. Hornbeck, the critic, remains scornful until the end; he even criticizes Drummond as a hypocrite. Rachel, however, changes significantly. She admits that she has always been afraid to her thoughts of her own because of her father. She now believes that independent thinking is important and understands why Cates has fought for it. As a result, she has packed her bag to leave the narrow-minded Hillsboro with Cates.


The simple gesture seen at the end of the play is very significant and symbolic. Drummond, the representative of rationality in the play, picks up both Darwin's book and the Bible. He puts them together and places them in his briefcase. It is the playwrights' statement that the two can peacefully co-exist together. Darwin's theory does not negate the Bible; it simply brings into question its literal, word for word, interpretation.

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