Inherit the Wind Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. What is significant about the opening interaction between Howard and Melinda?

Howard and Melinda are debating Darwinism and Christianity, the major conflict of the play.

2. Describe the character, Rachel.

Rachel is the daughter of Reverend Brown, the religious leader of Hillsboro. She is somewhat shy and loves Bert Cates, but is conflicted in her feelings for him now that he has been put in jail.

3. When Rachel visits Cates in jail, what does she urge him to do, and why?

Rachel urges Cates to apologize. Even though Rachel does not know what to believe about Darwinism, she is still torn between loyalty to him and loyalty to her father.

4. What does Rachel's conflicted loyalty between her father and Cates symbolize?

The conflicting loyalty Rachel experiences between these two men symbolizes her struggle between her faith and Darwinism.

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