In what ways does Gregg Easterbrook indicate that Inherit the Wind differs from the Scopes Trial in his article "The Scopes Trial vs Inherit the Wind?"

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Although not a member of the religious right, Easterbrook is a commentator who believes that religion should have a major place in American life.  He believes that we are too quick to be anti-religion.  This view can be seen in this article, where he argues that the play/movie Inherit the Winddiffers from the actual Scopes Trial in important ways that are meant to be anti-religious.

Easterbrook argues that the play/movie distorts the actual history in such a way as to make religion and religious people look bad.  He gives a number of examples of this in his article.  Let us look at two examples.  First, he points out that the authors completely make up the characters of Rachel (Scopes' love interest) and her father Reverend Brown.  They have Rev. Brown be such a fanatic that he prays for Scopes to go to hell and damns his own daughter for defending him.  Second, Easterbrook points out that the William Jennings Bryan character in the play (Brady) is portrayed trying to convince the Clarence Darrow character (Drummond) that the Earth was created in 4004 BC.  Darrow will not accept that and Bryan becomes incensed.  In the real trial, it was Darrow who tried to get Bryan to say he believed in that date for creation.  Bryan specifically rejected that belief.

By doing these things, Easterbrook says, the play/movie distort history in ways that are meant to discredit religion and religious people.


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