100%(3)3 out of 3 people found this document helpful
This preview shows page 7 - 9 out of 36 pages.
The following day, the judge ordered that Bryan’s testimony be stricken from the record, resulting in a guilty verdict for Scopes and a victory for Bryan. However, Darrow and Scopes, through press coverage of the trial and popular support for the defense, won a moral victory that reflected the changing times. Bryan died in his sleep five days after the trial’s conclusion. Scopes was acquitted on a technicality in a higher court of appeals.In the early 1950s, playwrights Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee adapted the Scopestrial into a play. The work, Inherit the Wind, was first performed in New York in 1955. Although the playwrights took creative liberties with the story, their version, which draws heavily from journalist H. L. Mencken’s coverage of the trial, is true to the spirit of the trial and to the characters of its most prominent players. Lawrence and Lee, who had collaborated since the late 1940s, went on to write more than thirty works together before Lee’s death in 1994.Although the Scopestrial was a dramatic high point in the debate between evolutionists and creationists, the trial failed to resolve the constitutionality of the Butler Act, which remained a Tennessee state law until 1967. Since that time, mainstream America has largely accepted evolution theory as an essential part of basic science education. However, similar issues involving the separation between church and state continue to play a part in legal controversies—for example, school prayer and religious education in public schools, among many others—to this day. ANALYSIS of MAJOR CHARACTERSHenry DrummondThe infamous criminal-defense attorney Henry Drummond arrives in Hillsboro vilified as an atheist but leaves, after losing the trial, as a hero. To the audience—and to many of the townspeople—Drummond makes a convincing case for the right of a human being to think. He accomplishes this feat by exposing the contradictions underlying his witnesses’ inherited religious beliefs. During the case, Drummond demonstrates that people know less than what they believe themselves to know. His greatest triumph in the name of free thought is getting Howard Blair to admit that he has not made up his mind about evolutionary theory. When we hear this admission, Drummond’s point becomes clear: freedom of thought becomes the freedom to be wrong or to change our minds. The world, viewed in this light, is full of possibilities.Although Drummond typically exposes the shortcomings of his subjects’ beliefs in gentle fashion, his cross-examination of Matthew Harrison Brady causes humiliation and hysteria. Brady self-destructs when his convictions about the literal truth of the Bible wither under the light of Drummond’s skepticism. Until that point, Drummond deploys his wry wit—his purple
suspenders from Nebraska, his cracks about the unfairness of Brady’s title and the judge’s announcement of a Bible meeting but no evolutionist meeting—to no one’s harm, while ironically exposing the injustice that his defendant faces. While Drummond’s attack of Brady is