Inherit the Wind
Principles Quotes Page 1
How we cite our quotes:
CATES. It isn't as simple as that. Good or bad, black or white, night or day. (I, I, 139-40)
Bert's attitude is very threatening for some people, especially if they believe that being principled means dividing the world into right and wrong. What do you think?
RACHEL. Mr. Drummond. You've got to call the whole thing off. It's not too late. Bert knows he did wrong. He didn't mean to. And he's sorry. Now why can't he just stand up and say to everybody: "I did wrong. I broke a law. I admit it. I won't do it again." Then they'd stop all this fuss, and—everything would be like it was. (I, II, 267-72)
Rachel wants Bert and Drummond to go against their principles in order to avoid the spectacle of the trial, and the possibility of a jail sentence for Bert. But these two characters are having none of that. Rachel, unlike Bert and Drummond, is motivated by fear. She would rather things be unfair than to rock the boat.
DRUMMOND. […] Cates, I'll change your plea and we'll call off the whole business—on one condition. If you honestly believe you committed a criminal act against the citizens of the state and the minds of their children. If you honestly believe that you're wrong and the law's right.
Then the hell with it. (I, II, 332-37)
Here, Drummond is making sure that his client is all the way on board with his strategy in the trial. He's a principled man who knows his client is technically guilty, so he's going to try to show the jury that the law itself is unjust… if Bert agrees.