Inherit the Wind by Robert Lee and Jerome Lawrence was a famous play based on the Scopes Trial. The Scopes Trial was a 1925 court case that took place in Dayton Tennessee. This trial involved John Scopes, a local substitute teacher who was accused of teaching evolution. The state of Tennessee had the Butler Act, which made it illegal for state-funded schools to teach evolution. Therefore, Scopes was brought on trial for breaking the law. Lee and Lawrence wrote Inherit the Wind to prove how the Butler Act was unconstitutional and abridged our freedom of speech. However, the writers changed many of the trial events to convince people to be on the side of evolution and freedom of speech. Lee and Lawrence were somewhat justified in distorting the facts and characters surrounding the Scopes Trial when they wrote their famous play, Inherit the Wind.
The writers of Inherit the Wind were somewhat justified in inaccuratley portraying the characters surrounding the Scopes Trial when they wrote they play. One reason why the writers were not justified was that they mislead people. For example, they made people believe that the townspeople were uneducated and intolerant. Being very educated and wanting the law against teaching evolution to change, was how the townspeople were in reality. It was unjustified because the public would look down upon the townspeople. Another reason why the writers were not justified is that they defamed Brady (in real life Bryan). The writers made Brady a very unintelligent person, but the real Bryan was a knowledgeable individual. The writers lead the public to dislike Bryan, so this is unjustified. One reason why the writers were justified involved the writers note. The writers note states that the play’s characters are related to the real Scopes Trial people; however, the writers made the roles of the production have a life and language of their own. The writer’s note is legitimate because it says the characters are different than the real-life people. Lee and Lawrence were partly justified and partly unjustified in distorting the Inherit the Wind characters.
A second reason the writers of Inherit the Wind were somewhat justified involves their misinterpretation of trial events. The first reason it was not warranted consists of the character Brady. The writers mislead the public into thinking that Brady died during the trial. However, the real Bryan died a few days after the trial ended. Misleading the public into thinking Brady was killed in a way that Bryan did not is unjustified. The second reason the writers were not justified also involves Brady. The writers wrote that Brady went into a frenzy reciting the Bible when he did not get his way. The writers were unjustified because they led the public to believe both Bryan and Christians were crazy. The reason the writers were justified involves the audience. The writers wanted to make the events more exciting and enjoyable for their audience. They also wanted to persuade people to be on the side of free speech. Lee and Lawrence were justified in changing the events because that is a writer’s job, to please and persuade their audience. In distorting the trial events, the writers were partly justified and partly unjustified.
A third reason the writers of Inherit the Wind were somewhat justified involves the circumstances motivating the trial. An explanation why it is not justified to distort the motivation of the case includes Scopes. In real life, Scopes was a beloved member of the town. The play makes Scopes a hated member and outcast of the community. It was unjustified to portray the motivation of the trial in this way because it makes the town look bad. Another reason why the writers were not justified in distorting the circumstances involves the townspeople. The townspeople asked Scopes if they could accuse him of teaching evolution. Scopes was a substitute teacher, and the townspeople wanted to blame him for teaching evolution so they could prove that the Butler Act was unconstitutional. It was unjustified of Lee and Lawrence to distort this situation because the writers made the entire case of the trial motivation up in the play. One reason why the writers were justified involves the drama of Inherit the Wind. The writers wanted the cause of the book to sound like a big deal and very dramatic. They also wanted to show that Scopes was exercising the freedom of speech. Therefore, making Inherit the Wind more dramatic by changing the circumstances motivating the trial is justified. By misrepresenting the conditions driving the case, the writers were partly justified and partly unjustified.
In conclusion, Inherit the Wind includes many events based on the Scopes Trial, but most of those functions are distorted from what happened. Robert Lee and Jerome Lawrence were somewhat justified in changing the characters, trial events, and circumstances motivating the trial. Though it is partly right, there is much at stake for distorting the Scopes Trial. The most apparent stake is not understanding what went on during this trial. Many people believe that Inherit the Wind and the Scopes Trial are the same stories. Unfortunately, this can create someone to not understand history correctly. However, through being informed about the significant differences between Inherit the Wind and the Scopes Trial, people will accurately know how the case took place. Another obvious stake is people not respecting each other. In Inherit the Wind, the evolutionists, and Christians did not respect each other, and this created a divide between the two groups. Our country is currently very divided between political parties. Just like in Inherit the Wind, the political parties do not respect each other.