Die Heuning Pot Literature Guide
© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
 

Themes

You're not the boss of me now, and you're not so big … These are the famous last words uttered to babysitters, older siblings, and, oh, yes, teachers. But really, teachers do have a lot of influence over the younger generations in a society, so naturally, people are pretty preoccupied with just what they're teaching all those fresh, malleable minds. Inherit the Wind shows us what happens when worry over what is being taught in public schools is taken to the extreme, and a biology teacher is put on trial for teaching about Darwin's theory of evolution. What's the proper separation between church and state, anyway? Questions like this one are still a big deal today.

Questions About Education

  1. Who do you think has the right to decide what is taught in public schools? Why?
  2. What is the difference between Rachel's attitude toward education and Bert's? Where do you think their differences come from?
  3. How does Howard, Bert's student, contribute to the trial? What evidence does he provide, exactly?
  4. What do you think the goals of public education are? How is this vision of education similar to or different from the one presented in Inherit the Wind?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

This play shows how public education is at the mercy of politics.

Inherit the Wind proves just how important it is for the entire community to be involved in students' education.

Advertisement
Advertisement
back to top