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FOR THE WEB QUEST Name__________________________________________________

Use the websites listed on the Web Quest page to find answers to the following questions. Your responses to these questions are due tomorrow at the start of class. Begin on Mrs. McDonald’s teacher page to find the following websites:

http://www.gradesaver.com/ClassicNotes/Titles/inherit/about.html

http://xroads.virginia.edu/~UG97/inherit/1925home.html
Last resort, use google.com.


  • Who wrote Inherit the Wind? What was the inspiration for writing the book?

Jerome Lawrence and Robert Lee

  • What do the authors say about their play in relation to the Scopes trial?

They say that the play is not meant to be taken as literal, instead it is historical fiction.

  • What is the Butler Law?

The Butler Law or Butler Act is a 1925 Tennessee law prohibiting public school teachers from denying the Biblical account of man’s origin. It aslo prevented teaching evolution. The law was changed later that year.

  • Who instigated opposition to the law?

ACLU – American Civil Liberties Union – they defended and preserved the individual rights guaranteed to every person in the country by the constitution.




  • Why did the mayor want to bring the trial to Dayton?

To bring publicity and interest to a small mining town.




  • Who is John Scopes?

A school teacher who was put on trial in Tennessee for teaching evolution in its schools.




  • Who’s who? Characters and setting in Inherit the Wind represent historical counterparts. Provide a brief description of each character or location:

1. Matthew Harrison Brady – A three-time Presidential candidate and famous politician worshipped by the people of Hillsboro. Brady strongly believes he is defending the faith of the world and is zealous in his efforts to do what he believes is right.


2. Henry Drummond – A famous lawyer, known for his skilled legal defenses, Drummond is hired by the Baltimore Herald to defend Cates. Rev. Brown describes him as a godless man, for his defenses of the guilty, in which he twists the blame onto society and its perceptions. Drummond and Brady were once friends and maintain respect for each other, but each see the other as in the wrong on this case.

3. Bertrum Cates – Bert Cates, age twenty-four, is a quiet, shy, well-mannered, not particularly good-looking, school teacher. Cates is in jail at the beginning of the play, arrested and about to go on trial for teaching evolution to his seventh-graders. Despite Rachel's urgings to him to confess, Cates knows he did not do wrong. Unlike most of Hillsboro, he does not see things in black-and-white but understands that the world is complex.


4. E.K. Hornbeck - A reporter in his middle thirties from the Baltimore Herald. He has a cynical attitude, especially when he enters during the preparations for Brady's arrival. The Herald has sent him to report on the trial and Drummond to defend Cates. Hornbeck is very critical of the town, mocking their ignorance. He sees Brady only as a closed-minded coward.
5. Hillsboro – the setting of Inherit the Wind.


  • What is evolution? A theory first proposed in the nineteenth century by Charles Darwin, according to which the Earth's species have changed and diversified through time under the influence of natural selection.



  • What does it mean to be a Christian Fundamentalist?

A Christian that holds radical views. They believe in the literal interpretation of the Bible.

  • Who is Clarence Darrow? Why is Charles Darwin important to this trial?

Darrow was Scopes’ lawyer. HE wanted to use Darwin’s theory to prove the law against teaching evolution unjust.

  • Who is William Jennings Bryan?

An American politician who was a fundamentalist Christian. He gave powerful speeches about the Bible.

  • What was the outcome of the Scopes Monkey Trial?

Scopes was found guilty and fined $100, but the verdict was overturned on a technicality. The trial served its purpose of drawing intense national publicity.


  • Where and when did the Scopes trial take place?

Dayton, Tennessee - 1925




  • Who was defending John Scopes?

Clarence Darrow





  • Who was the prosecutor in this case?


William Jennings Bryan
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