Inheit the Wind. Essay explaining the trial and the purpose of the Golden Dancer

Essay by pink333 May 2002

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The right to think and to examine controversial theories is the main theme of the play. The author uses the trial where Cates must defend his beliefs in the court of law to show how everyone has the right to their own opinion. Brady is a politician who is loud and obnoxious. He believes in God and the bible literally. There he disagrees with the teaching of religion in schools. Drummond however defends the schoolteacher Cates and believes that the bible should not be interpreted literally. Brady does not want evolution to be taught in the schools but the bigger issue is the right to free will and thought. Instead of focusing on the evolution aspect, Drummond looks at the big picture and the underlying issue. This is presented through the dialogue between Brady and Drummond. Also, this theme is evident in the questions that are posed by the lawyers to the court and reader.

The golden dancer is a rocking horse and represents the goals that one reaches for. It is made of dreams and hopes that people strive to achieve but sometimes do not achieve. The golden dancer is the perfect steed. The title of the play is significant in that there is a passage in the Bible in proverbs that reads, "He who troubles his own house shall inherit the wind and the fool shall be a servant to the wise in heart. Brady says this in the play and it means that someone who hurts their family and causes them grief shall inherit nothing, the wind. Those who speak stupidly will be at the mercy of those who are smart. When Brady says this he is implying that Cates is a fool and should be punished. This quote is said later by Hornbeck when he remarks...