Inherit the Wind is a play based on the 1925 Scopes Monkey Trial, in which teacher John Scopes, represented by the character of Bertram Cates, was sued by the state of Tennessee for teaching evolution. Much of the action occurs in the courtroom, with Matthew Harrison Brady prosecuting Cates, and Henry Drummond defending him. The two lawyers’ ongoing pleas to the jury and arguments for their case explore a person’s right to think freely and an individual’s struggle against accepted societal norms.

Summary of Inherit the Wind by Jerome Lawrence

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Inherit the Wind Chapter Summaries (Free)


Review: The most popular website for book notes. SparkNotes was created by students for students, and their summaries are accessible and extremely well-written. Besides the usual plot overview, chapter summaries, and character analysis, SparkNotes differentiates itself with a section discussing themes, motifs, and symbols.

2Cliffs Notes

Review: The original provider of professionally-written study guides, Cliffs Notes were available in print form before the Internet even existed. Their content is very comprehensive and includes an analysis of characters, detailed chapter by chapter summaries, critical essays, essay topics, and many other sections.

3Pink Monkey

Review: Their chapter summaries aren't as good as other providers, but PinkMonkey often has interesting insights that aren't mentioned elsewhere on the Internet. For example, they go over literary elements (like setting, conflict, and mood), compare and contrast, and symbolism/motifs. It's a good site if you want to find a unique fact or angle that other students don't know about.


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5Novel Guide

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