Inherit the Wind is an explosive drama which compels the reader to think about their own beliefs and views. Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee depict a story based on the Scopes "monkey trial" of 1925. The Scopes trial is based on a teacher, John Scopes, who was tried for breaking the law that states teaching evolution was illegal in public schools. The lawyers were the two most powerful figures in that time. In Inherit the Wind the teacher's name was changed to Bertram Cates, the prosecutor Matthew Harrison Brady, the defense attorney Henry Drummond. Brady tries to depict Cates as a person against the Bible and the church, out to poison the mind of children by filling their heads with godless ideas. Drummond simply presents the idea that the law is outdated, and the people should be granted the right to think and be able to expand their minds because the Bible is not the only book to live by.
Bertram Cates was charged for the crime of teaching Darwin's theory of Evolution in a public school. For this he was guilty, but I believe in Henry Drummond's argument. The law was outdated and unjust. The law allows for no other ideas than that of the Bible. But the purpose of school and an education is to encourage students to expand their minds. All Bertram Cates is guilty of is having ideas that may conflict with what the Bible says, and if that is a crime, then the country will never advance if their peoples ideas are to be held back.
"I am trying to establish, Your Honor, that Howard--or Colonel Brady--or Charles Darwin--or anyone in this courtroom--or you, sir--has the right to think!" Drummond enthusiastically portrayed this point, that humans have the right to think, so why should a law that compromises that ideal be upheld? This trial was more than just about a school teacher in a small town who broke the law. It's about every American, and their freedom to think. If the right to think is taken away from the classroom, then what is left? When Drummond questioned a thirteen-year-old student Howard, he asked him if the teaching of Evolution caused any harm to him.