Analysis: What's Up With the Ending?
The last thing that happens in Inherit the Wind is, after all the yakkity-yak, a silent action. Drummond takes up the Bible in one hand, Darwin's The Origin of Species in the other, balancing the two books.
This action reflects justice, which is usually represented by two scales, weighing different viewpoints. The image also proves to us that the lawyer can hold two different ideologies simultaneously, or at least respect two different ways of thinking. He puts both of the books in his bag, showing that both of them are important, and leaves the stage.
The playwrights' choice to end the play with this action seems like an attempt to not demonize either side of the debate—to show that each side has its merits. And like any good lawyer, Drummond knows how to weigh two viewpoints intelligently.
Check out our "Symbols" Section for more on the scales of justice.