external image inherit_the_wind.jpgSummary of the Book:
Inherit the Wind takes place in the small southern town of Hillsboro. Bertram Cates, a local schoolteacher is accused of teaching his students the theory of Evolution, which was considered against the law. Excitement steps into town when Matthew Harrison Brady, a famous politician and three time presidential candidate, agrees to be the prosecuting attorney. The townspeople are thrilled and throw a huge welcome party for their hero. But, their enthusiasm soon dies when the dark cloud of Henry Drummond grows in the sky. Drummond, who the people of Hillsboro see as the devil, is set to be the defense attorney for Cates. The trial turns out to be a very heated debate about Science and Religion. As the trial continues it becomes clear that Brady will very well be the winner. But, Drummond makes a move that was never done before in courtroom history. He calls Brady to be a witness for the defense. As Drummond questions and interrogates Brady about the Bible, Brady’s confidence crumbles and his followers start to doubt him. Finally the day arrives when the jury announces their decision. They claim that Cates is guilty and deserves a fair punishment. But the decision of twelve men does not stop the world from believing that Cates was innocent. He gave his students the right to think, which is more important than any theory or belief.

Description of Major Characters:
Matthew Harrison Brady: This very important character changes throughout the play. At the beginning of the play, Brady is very confident and sure of himself. Everyone admires and looks up to him. He is extremely well-liked and is seen as a great and powerful man. At the end of the book, however, Brady starts to become very unpopular. He loses his self-confidence and pride, and even begins to doubt himself.
Henry Drummond: Before Drummond even makes an appearance in the play, the townspeople of Hillsboro dislike him. He intimidates and scares a few people and seems very unsympathetic. During the conclusion of the play, Drummond shows a different side of himself. He becomes much more admired and popular. His tolerance for Religion and Science also comes out at the very end of the play.
Rachel Brown: Rachel seems very scared and timid when the play opens. She is split between her father, Reverend Brown, and Cates. She can’t decide who to side with. Rachel is also very confused about the trial and why Cates won’t just plead guilty. By the end of the play, Rachel realizes who she is and where she stands. Her confidence and bravery has increased tremendously. She is also happier, because she decides to leave her father.
E.K. Hornbeck: This character is one who remains the same throughout the whole play. He is a very witty and cynical journalist who comes to Hillsboro to get a good story. His sarcasm and dry humor makes him difficult to get along with some people. Hornbeck doesn’t care too much about the trial, he just enjoys writing a story about the interesting characters he meets in Hillsboro.
Bertram Cates: Cates is a schoolteacher who is accused of teaching his students the theory of evolution. He believes that everyone has the right to think, and just wants to provide his students with a different theory to think about.
Reverend Brown: This character is a very religious man. He believes that Creation is the only way this world came to be and refuses to think about any other theory. He gets really intense when preaching and sometimes goes a bit too far.


I enjoyed reading Inherit the Wind because it helped me realize the difference between acceptance and tolerance. I can now apply that difference to my everyday life, which can help be become a better person. Another thing I liked about this play how all the characters interacted with each other and how some changed drastically. I thought reading out loud in class was a lot better than reading silently or by myself. I learned and understood more from reading out loud and it kept my attention more as well.

Answers to Essential Questions:

How do we handle our individual differences? We can handle our individual differences by knowing what we stand for or believe and being tolerant of others thoughts. We can also accept the fact that not one person is alike, we all are different.
Does tolerance equal acceptance?
No, tolerance and acceptance are completely opposite things. Tolerance means being aware and willing to think about other people’s thoughts or opinions. Acceptance means believing and taking in those beliefs as your own. Everyone should display tolerance, but acceptance is their choice.
Can we tolerate someone/something without agreeing with them/it?
We can absolutely tolerate someone/something without agreeing with them/it. This can be done by acknowledging, respecting and noticing the opposite opinion, but not necessarily agreeing and going along with it.

What can we learn from reading this book?
Inherit the Wind teaches us the difference between tolerance and acceptance. It also makes us realize that we should never take that ability to think for granted. After reading the book you notice that tolerance and acceptance are far from being the same thing. Tolerance means being aware and thinking about someone else’s beliefs or ideas. Acceptance is taking in those ideas and believing them yourself. It is really important to be tolerant of other’s thoughts, but it is not so necessary or imperative to accept what others think. In the book Brady was not very tolerant of Science and the theory of Evolution. He knew that Creation was the only way this earth came to be, and wasn’t willing to look at or even think about people’s thoughts. On the other hand, Drummond was extremely tolerant about the two different opinions. He wasn’t accepting to both of them, but at least knew and was open about the idea of Creation and Evolution. It is so important to be able to think about different ideas and to be tolerant of them. Acceptance is a choice, but tolerance should come first.

Characterization Paragraph:

Reflections on Essay:

What did I learn from this writing assignment? During this assignment I learned how to become a better writer by changing the way my sentences were written and recognizing the different styles that I used in my essay. I learned that there are different techniques to consider when comparing and contrasting items. Also, I realized that editing and proofreading takes a lot of time and dedication.
What did I do well in this unit? In this unit, I did well on transitioning from one paragraph to the next. I also feel that one of my higher points was using quotes throughout the paragraphs and explaining where they fell in the play. Overall, I felt really good about my essay.
What areas could I improve on? One area that I could definitely improve on is my introductory paragraph and thesis statement. I think I worded it oddly and should have played around with those sentences more. I also should have read through my essay a little more thoroughly, because there were a lot of misspellings and grammatical errors that could have been easily fixed.