Inherit the Wind
Contrasting Regions Theme
All of Inherit the Wind takes place in the tiny town of Hillsboro, which the big-city reporter Hornbeck calls "the buckle of the Bible belt". Teehee. Luckily for us, enough out-of-towners show up for Bert's big trial that it's easy to see the contrast between city and country in this play. Hornbeck himself is considered to be an atheist devil by many of the townspeople, while Drummond is an agnostic demon. That right there is the conflict between city and country in a nutshell; Inherit the Wind tells the story of a heated battle between God-fearing small-towners and smart-aleck city slickers over the real origins of this world. Pretty cool, huh?
Questions About Contrasting Regions
- Which character most represents the country, and which the city in this play? Why?
- Does the play privilege either the country or city, or does it treat these two regions equally?
- How do the characters' home regions shape their personalities in the play? How do we know who's a "city slicker" and who's a "country bumpkin" in this play?
- Do you think Inherit the Wind stereotypes city and country residents? Or does it provide a more nuanced picture of city and country life? Discuss particular characters and cite passages from the play in answering these questions.
Chew on This
The city and the country are shown to be equally intolerant in the play. Both sides are stubborn as all get-out; they're just stubborn about different beliefs.
The play shows how people from small towns are backward and ignorant compared to people from the city… which is a common stereotype in the good old U.S. of A., in 1955 and today.