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Analysis

Literary Devices in Inherit the Wind

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

Setting

The stage directions lay it out for us in Inherit the Wind: "Time: Summer. Not too long ago. Place: A small town." We soon find out that the town we're dealing with is Hillsboro, "Heavenly Hillsbor...

Genre

Calling all drama queens. This is a play, so the genre is kind of a gimme: it's drama. And the good thing is, you don't even have to cry or have your feelings hurt; there is plenty of action in Inh...

Tone

Inherit the Wind takes itself pretty seriously, and wants everyone else to take it seriously, too. Its tone carries some finger-wagging hues, as though this play is trying to show us that we should...

Writing Style

For the most part, the lines in Inherit the Wind are full of down-home goodness. The play tries to capture the way that real people talk, and also to emphasize the small town atmosphere. Lines like...

What's Up With the Title?

Coming to you straight from the Bible, Inherit the Wind is a shout-out to the book of Proverbs. A verse, which is quoted twice in the play, reads, "He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the...

What's Up With the Epigraph?

He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind. (Proverbs 11:29)Just like we mentioned in our "What's Up With the Title?" Section, this Bible verse warns against rocking the boat. However,...

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 t...

Tough-o-Meter

Inherit the Wind uses pretty down-to-earth dialogue, and it's about a topic that's familiar to most people—evolution, and whether or not it should be taught in schools. So, unless you've been liv...

Plot Analysis

Jailhouse RockBert Cates gets thrown in the slammer for teaching evolution in the public school. His friend-who's-a-girl, Rachel, asks him to just say it was a joke so he can get out of the clink....

Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis

A Young Hero Falls Under the Shadow of the Dark PowerBert, who is the young hero in Inherit the Wind, starts off in the town jail. He seems like a good enough guy, and even has a nice girl come vis...

Three-Act Plot Analysis

Um, this is kind of simple. Act I in the plot analysis is conveniently the same as Act I in the play: all of the important players have arrived: Bert, who's on trial; Rachel, who's his crush and al...

Trivia

Inherit the Wind isn't all play-acting…but a lot of it is. The trial in the play is "loosely" based on the Scopes Trial of 1925.Did you know that the Scopes Trial was a bid by American Civil Libe...

Steaminess Rating

Sex only comes up in the most wholesome way in this approved-for-general-audiences play. At one point, Drummond embarrasses Brady, asking how all the people in the Bible got to be in the Bible… T...

Allusions

George William Hunter, A Civic Biology (I, I, 130-131) Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species(I, I, 132; II, II, 354; II, II, 432)Socrates (I, I, 721)Romeo and Juliet (I, I, 722)Sleeping Beauty (I,...
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