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"He that troubeth his own house,..shall inherit the wind." What does this mean and how...

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atropiano | (Level 1) Honors

Posted May 11, 2009 at 3:37 AM via web

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"He that troubeth his own house,..shall inherit the wind." What does this mean and how does it relate to the novel? Is there any other quotes in the novel to relate to the meaning and how it relates to the novel?

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ms-mcgregor | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted May 11, 2009 at 11:58 AM (Answer #1)

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The title "Inherit the Wind" is an allusion to the Book of Proverbs 11:29 , "He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind: and the fool shall be servant to the wise of heart." The allusion to this verse has several applications in the play. In Act 2, Scene 1, Reverend Brown "trouble his own house" by alienating his daughter when he gives a fiery sermon against Cates. Brady tells this proverb to Brown, indicating that the reverend indicating that once the trial is over, Brown may win the court case but he will lose his daughter in the process and thus "inherit the wind" or nothing. In Act 3, it is pointed out that when Brady told Brown his was "troubling his own house", Brady was "delivering his own obituary." Ironically, Brady also "inherits the wind" because he dies as a result of the stress brought on by the trial. Finally, the town itself "inherits the wind". They make such a fuss and turn the trial into such a circus, that the trial draws national attention and its residents are made to look both inflexible and ignorant. Their reputation is ruined even though they won the court case.

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