Inherit the Wind
(Drama) ( 1960)
© 2005 by Raymond Weschler
Major Characters Henry Drummund (Clarence Darrow*).................Spencer Tracy A famous lawyer from Chicago who agrees to defend Bertram Cates from charges of breaking a law that prohibits the teaching of the theory of evolution. Mathew Harrison Brady (William Jennings Bryan*).....Fredric March An old friend of Drummond’s, a famous politician, a former Secretary of State, and a lawyer, who agrees to help prosecute Cates. E.K. Hornbeck (H.L. Mencken*).......................Gene Kelly A famous, cynical and anti-religious writer from Baltimore who comes to cover Cates’ trial for his newspaper, The Baltimore Herald. Bertram T. Cates (John T. Scopes*)..................Dick York A high school science teacher in the small town of Hillsboro, Tennessee, who is arrested for teaching Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. The Judge...........................................Henry Morgan The judge in Cates’ trial. Rachel Brown........................................Donna Andersen Cates’ innocent fiancée, who is caught between the science teacher she loves and her extremely conservative and religious father. Reverend Jeremiah Brown.............................Claude Atkins Rachel’s father, and a "hellfire" preacher who believes that every word in the bible is literally true and that anybody who denies its truth will burn in hell forever. Mrs. Sarah Brady.....................................Florence Eldridge Matthew Harrison Brady’s loving and loyal wife, who used to be friends with her husband’s legal opponent, Henry Drummond. Plot Summary This film is Hollywood’s portrayal of the world famous "Scopes Monkey Trial," which took place in the small town of Dayton, Tennessee, in the hot and humid summer of 1925. Note that the names of the major characters were changed for the movie, and thus the names with asterisks (*) are the real name of the people that came to capture the attention of all America during that historic event. The trial is a classic American battle between the forces of conservative small town religion and the liberal world of secular (non-religious) science. In 1925, the southern state of Tennessee made it a crime to teach Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution in the public schools. This is the theory that humans descended from apes over millions of years. Fundamentalist conservative Christians feared this idea, since many of them believe the Bible implies that the earth is only 6,000 years old, and regardless,they believe God created man in the day or two immediately after creating all of the other animals. In the film, the high school science teacher Bertram Cates is arrested for teaching this theory, and within days, two of the most famous lawyers in the country arrive in the small town of Hillsboro—One (Drummond) to defend him, and the other (Brady) to help prosecute him. Drummond is accompanied by the famous liberal writer E.K. Hornbeck, who has a strong distaste for religious intolerance and wants the whole world to know of the state’s stupidity for prosecuting Cates. Brady is accompanied by his wife Sarah, who has known Drummond as a friend for most of their adult lives. The man caught in the middle is Cates himself, who quickly realizes that although all he wanted to do was open up his students’ minds, he was now a historic story for the press and a political cause for his lawyer. Even worse, he must face the tragedy of his fiancée Rachel, who is caught herself between Cates and her own father, an angry and very conservative Protestant Reverend who is convinced that his future son-in-law is a friend of the devil himself. For everyone involved, the trial and the issues that it raises are a tragedy, and reflective of the type of cultural tensions that continue in the United States to this very day. A quick note on this movie and the real Scopes trial: Although the issues that the real trial of 1925 raised are nicely dealt with in this film, historians have noted for years that Hollywood’s portrayal of the characters involved in the actual events is often far from accurate. Most obvious is the unfair depiction of Matthew Harrison Brady (William Jennings Bryan in real life), who is portrayed as a somewhat clownish and fanatical Christian who wanted to make Cates (Scopes in real life) pay for his ‘crime’ of teaching evolution. In reality, Bryan was not interested in punishing Scopes, but merely interested in protecting the law, which he saw as protecting his religion. Regardless, the real William Jennings Bryan was probably a much more moderate person than the Brady in this film, and in fact throughout his political life, Bryan was considered quite liberal. Some Words and Expressions that You May not Know The cultural war between science and religion arrives in Hillsboro as Bertram Cates, high school teacher, is arrested for teaching evolution. Give me that old-time religion! [song] Very traditional religious practices that go back generations. We will continue our discussion of Darwin’s theory of the descent of man. The theory or belief of the 19th century English biologist Charles Darwin, that man descended or evolved from apes over millions of years. From the first wiggly protozoa in the the ape, and finally to man. "To wiggle" is to move quickly back and forth, like a snake. A "protozoa" is a tiny one-celled animal, and one of the simplest forms of life. Come off it, Sam, you’ve known me all my life. An excellent expression, which is a way of telling a person to be serious after they have said something you think is nonsense. You’re charged with violation of public act 3142, volume 37, statute number 314 of the state code, which makes it unlawful for any teacher of the public schools... "To violate" a law is to break it, and the "public acts" and "statutes" of a state are its laws." Finally , the "code" of a state refers to all the laws the state has, brought together in one book or series of books. teach any theory which denies the creation of man as taught in the Bible. A guess or belief, generally based on analysis and scientific evidence. I hereby place you under arrest. "Hereby" is an old word meaning "by this way or means." If a person is placed "under arrest," they are usually stopped, taken to jail by the police and charged with a crime. Heavenly Hillsboro! Does it have a hole in its head or its head in a hole? Note that if a person (or city) has a "hole in its head," they’re crazy or stupid, but if they have their "head in a hole," they’re probably hiding from something (in this case from the progress of science). Let them laugh; We’re fighting the Lord’s battle, aren’t we Reverend? The "Lord" is a Christian word for God, and a "battle" is a fight or military struggle, often in a war. A "reverend" is a religious official in the Protestant branch of the Christian church. I’d rather have some heathen laughing at me than have my son laughing at the Bible. A "heathen" is a negative word for a person who does not believe in one of the traditional religions, especially Christianity or Judaism. They smite him and they spat upon him and he turned to them his other cheek. "To smite" is an old religious verb meaning to hit or strike hard. Note that "spat" is the past tense of "spit" (to expel water or saliva from the mouth). This is a description of what happened to Jesus, who would never fight. Tom, you’re prosecuting attorney. Isn’t there something we can do? The lawyer who is responsible for trying to convict accused criminals. I hardly think it ethical for me to express my opinion. An important word meaning moral (that which is considered right). What do we care what a bunch of foreigners and city slickers think? A funny expression that refers to people who live in big cities (A "slick" person can manipulate or fool people with language). How long since you sold a pound of grits to some smart-aleck from New York? "Grits" is a type of grain or cereal that is popular in the American South. A "smart-aleck" is a person who thinks they are smart and often talks in a way that is offensive or annoying. Heaven has chosen us to light the way for others, back to the shepherd, back to the fold. Religious words from the Bible. A "shepherd" takes care of sheep, and in this case, "the fold" refers to Jesus and (the Christian) God. As mayor of Hillsboro, I uphold the laws of this community, no matter how it may effect my political future. "To uphold" a law is to enforce it, or make sure people obey it. I shall ignore these slanders, like water off a duck’s back. A "slander" is a public statement that accuses a person of something that in fact is not true, which can therefore harms their reputation. You’ve been a lousy mayor! A good alternative word to bad or shitty. Are you aware that the great universities throughout this country will consider student applicants from this state ineligible because of this law? An "applicant" is a person who applies for a job or position (in this case to be a student). If a person is "ineligible" for something, they are not qualified to get it. I don’t know whose idea it was to hang a shingle on Hillsboro spelling Horse’n’Buggy, but as for me, I won’t invest in antiquity. A "shingle" is a small sign often announcing the nature of a business. "Horse’n’buggy" refers to the horse-drawn carriages that were the way people got around before cars. "To invest" in something is to put money or time into it, and "antiquity" refers to the very old or ancient world. I may want my son to go to Yale. A famous and excellent university in the state of Connecticut. Now I believe in a basic fundamentalist interpretation of the Bible, but we can’t close our eyes to all progress. A belief that the words of the Bible are all literally true. This will put Hillsboro on the map of this country! To put a small town "on the map" is to make it famous or well known. When he spoke, a tent pole shook! A "tent" is a temporary shelter made of fabric, and a "pole" is a round or cylinder shaped stick (In small towns, religious meetings are often held in very large tents). You’re a popular fellow. Another word for guy. Tell them if they let my body out of jail, I’d lock up my mind? ...Could you stand that, Rachel? :: At least we’d be together. "To lock up" a person is to put them in jail or confine them to a small space. A person’s mind is the part of their brain that allows them to think. "To stand" something is to accept it (More commonly, if you " can’t stand it," this means you hate it. Wow, so this is where the fate of learning will be decided for the next 10,000 years! "Wow" is an excellent little filler word that shows emotion such as happiness or surprise. A person’s "fate" is their future, from which they can’t escape. Don’t worry, I’m not the serpent. This isn’t from the tree of knowledge. A "serpent" is a snake. In the Bible, "the tree of knowledge" is a fruit tree that God says must not be touched, but the first humans (Adam and Eve) decided to eat from it. Lots of problems followed! Martyrs always have a point to prove and so do you, but you haven’t won your halo yet. A "martyr" is a person who is killed or greatly hurt while trying to do something good for somebody else. If you have a "point to prove," you are trying to show that what you believe is true. A "halo" is a circular ring of light or particles around the head of a person that makes them appear like they are an angel or a symbol of goodness. That won’t come until they’ve tossed you into the arena with the lions. "To toss" something is to throw it, and an "arena" is a big stadium for public events like concerts or plays (During the Roman Empire, Christians were fed to the lions in public arenas). A teacher is a public servant; He should do what the school board and law want him to. A "public servant" is a complimentary expression for a person who works for the government. A "school board" is a group of citizens who decide how the local schools should be run. Has the accused anything to say in his own defense? In a trial, "the accused" is the person who is charged with a crime. Waste baskets for ideas on sale in the outer lobby. A "waste basket" is a small trash can, and the "outer lobby" of a building is the area where people often gather to sit and talk, or perhaps check in if it’s a hotel. This is Hornbeck’s way of saying the people of Hillsboro refuse to accept new ideas. I don’t see anything funny in this Mr. Hornbeck. :: Objection sustained, either do I. In a trial, if a lawyer says he has an "objection" to what is said, they are saying it is irrelevant or not permitted, and should not be considered by the jury. If an objection is "sustained," the judge agrees that the objected to words should be removed from the trial record and ignored by the jury. You newspaper people have stirred up enough trouble for Bert. "To stir up" trouble is to intentionally cause problems or trouble, often by trying to emotionally upset people. I came to tell boy Socrates here that the Baltimore Herald is opposed to hemlock, and we will provide a lawyer. Socrates was a famous ancient Greek philosopher who was famous for angering the powerful by constantly asking troubling questions. The Baltimore Herald is the newspaper Hornbeck works for, and "hemlock" is a type of poison that Socrates was forced to drink as punishment. In this case, "to provide" a lawyer is to pay for him. What’s the difference?; An old lawyer with new tricks, a new lawyer with old tricks. In this context, a "trick" is a smart or clever way in which a lawyer can use the law to their advantage, even if the law was not originally intended to be used that way. Wake up, Copernicus. The law is still on the side of the lawmakers and everything revolves around their terra firma. Copernicus was a famous Polish astronomer who claimed that the sun is the center of the universe, and not the earth (This claim was bitterly fought by the Catholic Church after he made it in 1543). "To revolve" around something is to circle around it (Terra firma is Latin for the earth or the ground). I know the sunrise is an optical illusion. An interesting expression for something that appears to be what it really isn’t ( looks like the sun is going around or revolving around the earth when the sun rises, but as we know, it is the earth that revolves around the sun). You seem so...cynical! :: True, that’s part of my fascination. If a person is "cynical," they question what they are told and often do not believe the claims of others, especially of religions, governments and their representatives. A person’s "fascination" with something is their extreme interest in it. I’m admired for my detestability. "To admire" a person is to respect or like them. "To detest" a person is to hate them with great emotion (though destestability is rarely if ever used). Don’t worry. I may be rancid butter, but I’m on your side of the bread. If food is "rancid," it is spoiled or rotten and smells horrible. This is Hornbeck’s way of telling Rachel that he may be unpleasant, but he is supporting Cates in the trial. Hillsboro welcomes Matthew Brady as a defender of God, while attorney Henry Drummund, with the help of The Baltimore Herald, prepares to fight for Bertram T. Cates and the progress of science. As mayor of Hillsboro, may I say this municipality is proud to have within its city limits those who have always fought for us ordinary people... A "municipality" is a legal word for a city or urban area. In this context, "ordinary" means common or simple. ....for the lady folk of this town would not have had the vote if you had not been fighting to give them that suffrage! "Suffrage" is a legal word for the right to vote. Mr. Wilson would not have gotten to the White House and won the war if you had not been his Secretary of State! In the US government, the "Secretary of State" is responsible for US relations with other countries (In most countries, this person is usually called the Foreign Minister). Note that William Jennings Bryan was President Wilson’s Secretary of Sate during World War 1. The governor of our glorious state has vested in me the authority to confer upon you the commission of honorary colonel in the state militia! A "governor" is the highest level person in a state government. "To vest authority" in a person is to give them the power to do something. "To confer" upon a person is to give them something, and in this context, a "commission" is an appointed position. If a position is "honorary," it is given as an honor (and not because the position has actually been earned). "Colonel" is a high level in the US military. The "state militia" is the military branch of the state government that is mainly used to keep order in times of emergency or crisis (Today it is usually referred to as a state’s National Guard). Mrs. Brady and I are delighted to be among you! To be "delighted’ is to be very happy. We all voted for you, three times. :: I trust it was in three separate elections! A clever exchange in which Brady, who ran for President three times, is referring to the corruption of some places in which a person is able to illegally vote for the same person more than once. Who may I ask is the spiritual leader for this community? A way of referring to a religious leader, such as a priest or reverend. It is not merely to prosecute a law breaker, a young man who has spoken out against the revealed word. For fundamentalist or very conservative Christians, "the revealed word" are the words of the Bible ("To reveal" something is to show it or announce it to others). What has happened in the school room of your town has unloosed a wicked attack from the big cities of the North. "To unloose" something is let it free, and "wicked" is a powerful adjective that means evil or morally horrible. We did not seek this struggle. We are simple folk, who seek only to live in brotherhood and peace. "To seek" something is to intentionally look for it. "Brotherhood" is the state of living as brothers, in peace with others. To cherish our loved ones and to teach our children the ways of righteousness in the Lord. "To cherish" a person is to deeply love or admire them. A "loved one" is generally a close family member or friend you love dearly. "Righteousness" is the state of being moral, or acting morally correct. These idolaters, these priests of evolution...if man believes he is descended from the beast, he must remain a beast! An "idolater" worships or believes in false Gods. A "priest" is a religious leader in the Catholic Church. If man "descended" from apes, his distant ancestors were apes. A "beast" is a negative word for an animal. These innocent ones, corrupted and despairing of salvation, will turn upon their fathers! If a person is "corrupted," their values have been hurt by a negative influence, such as greed for money. "To despair" is to feel desperate or horribly frustrated, and in this case, "salvation" is the Christian belief that your soul will be saved and you will go to heaven only if you accept Jesus as your God. "To turn upon" a person is to suddenly fight or struggle against them. The pestilence of fire and hatred and death! "Pestilence’ is a destructive force. The most gifted reporter in America today, myself, and the most agile legal mind of the 20th century, Henry Drummond. If a person is "gifted," they are extremely talented or skilled. If a man’s mind is "agile," it is very smart and can quickly adapt to new situations. If the enemy sends us Goliath in the battle, it magnifies our cause! Goliath is the name of a giant that tries to kill David in the biblical story of David and Goliath. "To magnify" something is to make it appear much bigger than it really is, and a political "cause" is a movement for a particular principle or belief, such as civil rights or freedom of religion. When he fights, headlines follow! The large print article titles that are found in newspapers. If St. George had killed a dragonfly instead of a dragon, who would’ve recommended him? A "dragonfly" is a small insect and a "dragon" is a huge fire-breathing monster (St. George is a prince in an old British fairly tale). We here in Hillsboro have the opportunity to slay not only the devil’s disciple but the devil himself! "To slay" a person is kill them violently, often with a knife or sword. A person’s "disciple" is somebody who truly believes in them and spends time telling others of their greatness. Rachel, I made supper for you. An old word for dinner. Thank God that the sinner stands naked and exposed! :: Stop preaching, pa! A "sinner" is a person who does acts that God prohibits (such as murder and stealing). "To preach" is to lecture or speak to others on religious subjects, often about what God thinks is right. "Pa" is a very dated word for dad or father. I’m not leaving Bert! :: That is the love of Judas! This man has nothing to offer you but sin! Judas was one of Jesus’ closest apostles or friends, who turned against him. "Sin" is an act of which God disapproves. Why is he bringing Henry Drummond here to spew his atheistic filth into the ears of our people? "To spew" is to spray or spit out with great force or energy. An "atheist" is a person who does not believe in God, and "filth" is horrible dirtiness or more generally, corruption and evil. You know how easy it is to mold minds for good or to twist them for evil. "To mold" something is to shape it in a certain way, and "to twist" something is to turn or tie it under pressure, or more generally, to corrupt or distort a person’s thoughts or beliefs. He’s infected with the poison of his agnosticism! "To infect" a person is to give them a disease, and "agnosticism" is the belief that one cannot know if there is a God. You have betrayed your faith! "To betray" a person is to greatly hurt them by working for their enemy or tricking them. In this case, a person’s "faith" is their religion. I shall sprinkle clean water upon you if you shall be clean...and from all your filthiness and from your idols shall I cleanse you. "To sprinkle" is to gently spray little drops of water. "To cleanse" a person is to clean them, in this case from the sin of other religions. Heavenly Hillsboro, the buckle on the Bible belt. A "buckle" is the metal part of a belt that keeps it closed together in front. "The Bible Belt" still refers to the Southern states in the US (from Texas to Virginia), where conservative Christians are still very influential. We’re sharing a room at Mansion House, like everything else here, misnamed. A "mansion" is an extremely big house for rich people, and if something is "misnamed," it has a name that does not make sense or truly describe it (i.e....the Mansion House in Hillsboro is actually quite small). Which is hungrier? My stomach or my soul? A person’s "soul" is the non-physical or spiritual part of them that lives on after they die (at least in theory!) Are you an evolutionist? An infidel? A sinner? An "infidel" is a person who is not faithful, in this case to their religion. You, Sir, must be a man of God. :: No, no, ulcers. A painful break in the lining of the stomach, often caused by stress. Ladies and gentleman, devolution is not a theory but a cold fact...the ape devolved from man. "To devolve" is the opposite of evolve, but its rarely used. Now you take a look at this creature sitting here. A "creature" is another word for animal or beast. Before you is an example of the ungrace to which man can fall because of his own bestiality! "Bestiality" is uncivilized or animal–like behavior. Look at those beaten brows, those shifting eyes. If eyes "shift," they move around a lot, perhaps suspiciously. As sure as the good Lord cast out Satan from hell, so did he devolve this poor beast from man. "To cast out" a person is to throw them out. "Satan" is another common word for the devil, or an evil being. They’re all the wages of sin, my friends! A biblical expression which means the cost of doing something immoral of which God would disapprove ("Wages" refers to a worker’s salary). Look and beware! I thank you, your contributions will be gratefully received. "Beware" is a way of telling a person to be careful, since there is danger near. In this case, a "contribution" is a voluntary donation of money. Have you come to testify for the prosecution or the defense? "To testify" is to officially answer questions at a trial. At a criminal trial, the "prosecution" is the state attorney who tries to convict the accused criminal of a crime, and "the defense" is the lawyer for the person accused of a crime, who is often called the defendant. Tensions and the temperature rise as the trial of the century begins... This isn’t my mission, Mr. Henry. A person’s "mission" is their goal, or something they want to accomplish. They’re pretty hard, aren’t they? :: Their messiah arrived yesterday. A "messiah" is a religious savior, such as Jesus. Why don’t you give your ulcers a break and go home? In this context, to "give a break" to someone (or something) is to allow them to rest. Just plain folks, second generation. Another expression for the common people. We all like Mr. Cates very much and we hope you do right by him. To "do right by" a person is an old-fashioned way of saying to treat them well, or with respect. It’s good to see you; I only wish it were under different circumstances. An important word that refers to the facts or details of a situation. Sara, you look lovelier than ever. "Lovely" is a nice British word for pretty or attractive. Yes, youth appeals to me these days. If something "appeals" to you, it attracts you. I’ll take up your bags, counselor. An old-fashioned but still used way of referring to a lawyer. Very biased reporting, I must say. If reporting is "biased," it unfairly favors one side of a story over the other. It’s the duty of a newspaper to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. "To comfort" a person is to try and make them feel safe and secure. If a person is "afflicted," they are deeply troubled or tormented (and "to afflict a person is to trouble or disturb them). Mr. Drummond, let me assure you that while we may not agree with your ideas, we respect your right to voice them. "To voice" an opinion is to state it publicly. Twice he campaigned for me when I ran for President. "To campaign" for a politician is to go out and try to get people to vote for them. If we can desist with the taking of photographs for the time being. "To desist" from doing something is to stop doing it. Is the defense ready to proceed with the selection of the next juror? :: The defense is ready, your honor. "To proceed" is to move forward, especially after taking a break. A "juror" is a member of the jury, a group of citizens who decide at a trial if a person is innocent or guilty. "Your honor" is how a judge is always addressed in a court room. Order in the court! And I want to warn the spectators that that the court will not tolerate any undue disturbance at any time. "Order in the court" is a way for a judge to tell everyone in the courtroom to be quiet. A "spectator" is a person who watches what is going on at an event (in this case, a trial). "To tolerate" something is to accept it, and if something is "undue" it is unwanted or too much. A "disturbance" is something that disturbs or bothers (such as unwanted noise). The high priest of mumbo jumbo, Matthew Brady, has alternately been stuffing himself with fried chicken and belching platitudes since his arrival here. A "high priest" is a leader or symbol of a political or religious movement. "Mumbo jumbo" is an excellent way of referring to nonsense. "To stuff oneself" is to eat a lot of food, and "to belch" is to burp. "Platitudes" are silly, banal or overused remarks, often said for no particular reason. Will the court entertain a motion on a matter of procedure? :: Will the prosecution state the motion? In a courtroom, "the court" means the judge! In a legal context, "to entertain a motion" is to consider an official request by a lawyer, and a matter of "procedure" refers to how the trial is run or conducted, and not to a specific question of law or fact. It has been called to my attention that the temperature in this courtroom is now 97 degrees Fahrenheit. The measure of temperature used in the US (as opposed to Celsius). I do not think the dignity of this court will suffer if we remove a few superfluous outer garments. If something is "superfluous," it is unnecessary. A "garment" is an article of clothing. Is the counsel for the defense showing us the latest fashion from the great metropolitan city of Chicago? Another word for a lawyer. It just so happens I bought these in your home town, Mr. Brady. Weeping Water, Nebraska. "It so happens" is a way implying that what you are about to say may be of particular interest to the listener. Nebraska is a lightly populated state in the middle of the country. I believe in the holy word of God, and I believe in Matthew Harrison Brady. For Christians, "the holy word" refers to the words of the Bible. I object to the defense attorney rejecting your worthy citizen, without so much as asking him a question. A "worthy citizen" is an honorable or admirable member of the community. Note that when lawyers decide who gets to be on the jury in a trial, they can reject any person, without even giving a reason. Your honor, I object to the note of levity that the counsel for the defense is introducing into these proceedings. "Levity" is a sense of lightness or even humor. "Proceedings" refers to any official event or happening, such as a trial or meeting. I object to all this Colonel Brady talk. A "colonel" is a high ranking officer in the military. The use of the title prejudices the case of my client and calls up a picture of the prosecution astride a white horse, ablaze in the uniform of a military colonel... "To prejudice" a person’s legal case is to hurt it by making a jury more likely to be hostile or biased. "Astride" is a fancy word for on, or next to, and "ablaze" is a poetic word for on fire, or with the power of flames. ....with all the forces of right and righteousness marshaled behind him. "Righteousness" is another word for moral goodness, and if forces are "marshaled," they are gathered together. We certainly want to give you a fair hearing in this courtroom. We don’t want anything prejudicial to your client. A "hearing" is another word for trial, or more generally, an opportunity to argue one’s case. If something is "prejudicial" to a client, it is unfair to them, often by making the jury more likely to view the client negatively. I have no serious objection to the honorary title of private. A "private" is a low level person in the military. It is certainly not everyday that a gentleman attains the exalted position of temporary honorary colonel. "To attain" a position or state is to reach it. "Exalted" is an educated word that means of high level, rank or prestige. We’re supposed to be selecting jury members! The prosecution is denouncing the defendant before the trial has even begun! :: Objection sustained. "To denounce" a person is to severely criticize them. If an objection is "sustained’ the judge agrees that the lawyer’s objections to the words or tactics of the opposing side are inappropriate or not permitted in court. I’m pretty busy down at the feed store. My wife tends to the religion for both of us. A "feed store" is a store that sells food for farm animals. "To tend to" something is to take care of it. That is objected to; It’s immaterial and argumentative. :: Objection sustained. In law, if something is "immaterial," it’s not relevant, and if a word is "argumentative," it is not permitted since it is only designed to cause an emotional reaction such as anger, without helping the jury find the truth. My worthy opponent from Chicago is cluttering up the issue with hypothetical questions. "To clutter up" an issue is to complicate it or make it more confusing than is necessary. If a question is "hypothetical," it is asking about a situation that does not really exist, but could exist in theory. For your sake, I’m trying to establish that he’s not working hard at evolution. "For your sake" is one way of saying "for you." In this context, "to establish" a fact is to show or prove it. Oh, conform, conform! What do you want to do? Run the jury through a meat grinder and have them all come out the same? Take a box seat there, Mr. Sellers. "To conform" is to try and act like everyone else. A "meat grinder" turns big pieces of meat into small ones. A "box seat" is a seat in the box where the jury sits (It is also a very good seat in a sports arena or concert hall). Your honor, this is ludicrous! An excellent word meaning totally ridiculous. Gentlemen, you’re both out of order. The bench rules that the jury has been selected. In a trial setting, if a lawyer is "out of order," they are talking when they shouldn’t be. "The bench" refers to the judge (though "the court" is more common). Due to excessive heat, court is adjourned until 10 o’clock tomorrow morning. "Excessive" is an important adjective meaning too much. If a court is "adjourned," the trial is stopped until some time later. There will be a prayer meeting tonight at the picnic grounds to pray for justice and guidance. :: Your honor, I object to that commercial announcement. "Guidance" is another word for general advice that helps people with their lives. A "commercial announcement" is an advertisement for any kind of product that is being sold. Your honor, we want the learned counsel from the North to get every fairness and consideration for this trial. We must not forget he is our guest. "Learned" (pronounced learn-ed, and not like the past tense of ‘to learn’), means educated. Here, "consideration" means reasonable opportunity. Guest, hell, I’m a lawyer in a courtroom! A filler word to express frustration and similar emotion. Stop using this courtroom as a platform for your obscene ideas! Stop trying to dirty the minds of our young people! A "platform" is a place, such as a stage, from which to speak. If something is "obscene," it is considered very dirty, filthy or disgusting, and very often has to do with sex. My conduct in this courtroom is not under question, and certainly not by you! Another word for behavior. I don’t swear just for the hell of it. Language is a poor enough means of communication and there are damn few words anybody understands. "To swear" means to use dirty words (such as ‘fuck’), though note it can also mean to promise to do something. To do something "just for the hell of it" is to do it for no particular reason. "Damn" is a filler word to express emotion such as anger or frustration. Henry and Matthew reflect on old times as Cates stays in jail and Rachel faces the rage of her God-fearing father. We’ll fix you, Cates! We’ll run you out of town! In this case, "to fix" a person is an old, slangy way of saying to hurt them. The Baltimore Herald is with you, right after the lynching. A horrible verb! "To lynch" a person is to kill them by hanging them from a tree after accusing them of a crime, but before a real trial is held. Bert, you’ve got to call the whole thing off, right now! "To call off" a planned event means to cancel it. This is Rachel Brown. :: We’re engaged. If two people are "engaged," they have official plans to get married. They’re using you as a weapon against your own people! A "weapon" is a gun, bomb or other tool that can be used to hurt or kill. I tried to open the kids’ minds, I tried to give them knowledge. They’re using it as a stranglehold on me! A "stranglehold" is a powerful force that chokes off the ability to breath (It is literally a hold in wrestling, used around a person’s neck). Where do I finish? Dead with a couple medals on my chest? Bert Cates, world’s biggest chump. A "medal" is a small metal object that acknowledges a person’s great achievements. A "chump" is a fool who has been easily tricked. Let’s face it; To him I’m a headline and to you I’m a cause. One way of saying "Let’s at least admit to ourselves that..." Bert sees that for Hornbeck, his trial is a great media story, and for Drummund, the trial is a fight for principles such as freedom of speech and scientific progress. These people are in a lean and hungry mood. "Lean" means thin, or in this case, determined and perhaps angry. You kill one of their fairy tale notions and they’ll bring down the wrath of God, Brady and the state legislature on you every time. A "fairy tale" is a child’s story with magical characters (though Hornbeck is referring to the Bible). A "notion" is an idea. The "wrath" of a person is their great anger or rage. The "legislature" is the political body that makes the laws of a state. Young lady, I know what Bert is going through. "To go through" a difficult time is to experience it. It’s up to you, Cates. If you want, we’ll change the plea and... that is if you honestly believe the law is right and you’re wrong. If a decision is "up to" you, you’re the one who gets to make it. A "plea" is the declaration of being guilty or not guilty, made at a trial. What kind of life could we have if I gave up now? Your father’s kind---hallelujah and ignorance, here we come? "To give up" is to surrender. "Hallelujah" is an ancient religious word that Christians use to give thanks to God. I have seen the alters to which they sacrifice their children to the Gods of science. An "altar" is a raised table or structure for placing candles or other objects to show respect for a religion or cause. There isn’t one state in the union where the evolutionists are in the majority. In this context, a way of referring to the United States. How do you account for the unfortunate comment that your crusade has aroused... "To account for" something is to try and explain it. A "crusade" is a great political or spiritual movement, and "to arouse" great emotion is to cause it to happen. The attacks upon me stem from a vociferous minority that happen to control the press. "To stem from" is a fancy way of saying to come from (A stem is the root of a plant). "Vociferous" means extremely angry or with great and hostile energy. "The press" is a common way of referring to the news media. Dear Lord, dear father...behold thy grace. Amen. In a religious context, "father’ is a way of referring to God. "To behold" something is to look at it, and "thy" is a no longer used word for "your." You should be familiar with "amen," which is an ancient word that Christians use to end all prayers. God may be a matter of indifference for the evolutionists and the life beyond holds no charm for them.... If something is "a matter of indifference," to you, you don’t care about it. In this context, "the life beyond" refers to life after death ...but the mass of mankind will continue to worship. Here, the "mass" refers to the great majority of common people, and "to worship" is to pray to or admire with the greatest respect. The hat with the feather; You used to wear it to all the conventions and it was much too becoming. A "convention" is a large meeting or conference of people involved in a particular field, such as doctors or lawyers. If a piece of clothing is "becoming," it makes the person wearing it look good. How are you Sara? :: A little grayer, Henry. Here, the color gray refers to one’s hair, and thus "grayer" means older. And you? :: A little grimmer. If a person is feeling "grim," they are feeling sad, down or pessimistic. He brings out the worst in me. If a person’s behavior "brings out the worst in" you, they cause you to act badly yourself, perhaps out of anger or frustration. Don’t be cynical. I think every man longs to be his brother’s keeper, and to be cared for in return. If a person is "cynical," they often do not believe what they are told and look upon institutions such as religion and government with great doubt and skepticism. "To long to" do something is to greatly desire to do it. If you are your "brother’s keeper," you accept the responsibility of taking care of him. It sounds more convincing coming from you. If a person’s words are "convincing," they are able to change your mind or opinion about a subject. What would you have been?. .. Your majesty’s loyal opposition. "Your majesty" is how you address a king or queen, and a political party’s "loyal opposition" is the opposing party that has a long tradition of competing against it in elections. All those millions upon millions who find a rallying point for their expression of God’s will. A "rallying point" is an event that causes lots of people to come together to fight for a cause. A person’s "will" is their wish or desire. The word tells us that the world was created in six days! This is the way conservative or fundamentalist Christians refer to the Bible. In the beginning, the earth was without form and void, and the Lord said, let there be light! "Form" is shape, and if something is "void," it is empty. On the 5th day, he filled the sea with fish and the air with fowl! A "fowl" is a bird of any kind. He blessed them all, but on the morning of the 6th day ...the Lord rose and a scowl lay across his face. "To bless" a person (or animal) is to hope for God’s best wishes. A "scowl" is a bitter or angry expression on a person’s face. Why was the Lord troubled? If a person is "troubled," they are anxious, worried or disturbed. The Lord looked at all his handiwork before him and he said it was not enough. "Handiwork" is the physical work that a person makes with his own hands, such as furniture and tools. Do we curse the man who denies the word? Do we call down hellfire on the man who has sinned against the word? Here, "to curse" a person is to speak angrily about them and perhaps even hope for their punishment. "To deny" something is to claim it is not true (in this case, the words of the Bible). "Hellfire" is the fire that awaits those who go to hell (at least according to certain religious people!). "To sin" is to do something immoral, of which God would not approve . Oh Lord...strike down this sinner…as they did in the days of the Pharaohs. "To strike down" a person is to hit them with great force or violence, perhaps even killing them. The "Pharaohs" were the Kings or leaders of ancient Egypt. Let him know the terror of thy sword! A "sword" is a large knife or blade that is used as a weapon to kill people. Let his soul for all eternity writhe in anguish and damnation! "Eternity" means forever. "To writhe" means to move or twist on the ground while in great or unbearable pain (a horrible verb!). "Anguish" is great pain or suffering, and "damnation" is the state of being damned or sent to hell, to suffer forever. We ask the same curse for those who ask grace for this sinner... though they be blood of my blood and flesh of my flesh. In this context, a "curse" is a horrible fate or future of tragedy or misery. Here, "grace" means forgiveness, and "flesh" is the skin and muscle of a person (Reverend Brown is asking God to send his own daughter to hell because she still loves Bertram Cates). I know the great zeal of your faith that makes you utter this prayer, but it is possible to be over zealous, to destroy that which you hope to save. "Zeal" means great passion or energy, and to "utter" something is to say it, often without thinking first. If a person is "over zealous," they have too much passion or emotion. Remember the wisdom of Solomon in the Book of Proverbs; He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind." "Wisdom" is intelligence and good judgement, based on experience. Solomon was a king mentioned in the Bible, and the "Book of Proverbs" is a chapter in the Bible (A "proverb" is a common expression or metaphor). The expression or proverb that follows, the title of this movie, appears to say that if you cause harm to your own family, all that they will leave behind for you is wind, and nothing else. God has no wrath for the innocent, my dear. "Wrath" is great anger or rage. By the sight of that meal you packed away tonight, I’d say you haven’t changed in 40 years. "To pack away" food is to eat a lot of it, and probably with great enjoyment. How two people can start from the same point, drift apart... :: It’s the nature of the life process. If two people "drift apart," they slowly but surely grow in different directions, so they are very different from each other compared to when they started out together. A "process" is the development over time of a event or project, in this case of a trial. All motion is relative. Maybe it’s you who’ve moved away by standing still. "Motion" is the action of moving, and if two things are "relative," they are always seen in relation to each other (Einstein taught us this!). If progress means abandoning God, the faith of our fathers,,, :: I saw a demonstration of that faith tonight. "To abandon" a person is to leave them, and in this case, a "demonstration" is an example (as opposed to a protest). They’re driven to it because our faith was challenged. If a person is "driven to" do something, they are emotionally determined to do it, often because of the actions of others. In this case, "faith" is simply religious beliefs. Window shopping for heaven. :: Why do you want to take it away from them? It’s like a golden chalice of hope. "To window shop" is to look at store windows, without actually buying anything. A "chalice" is a drinking cup, often used in religious ceremonies. I was about seven years old at the time and a great judge of rocking horses. A "rocking horse" is a wood horse that children can rock back and forth on. When the sun hit her stirrups, she was a dazzling sight to behold. A "stirrup" is a metal object put on the side of a horse to help the rider get on top. If something is "dazzling," it is wonderfully beautiful or amazing, often filled with gorgeous lights. "To behold" something is to observe or view it. But she was a week’s wages for my father, so Golden Dancer and I always had a big plate glass window between us. "Wages" refers to the money that workers earn. Mom had skimped on the groceries and dad had worked nights for a month. "To skimp" on groceries is to buy less in order to save money. I jumped into the saddle and started to rock. A "saddle" is the seat that a rider sits in, on top of a horse, and here, "to rock" means to move back and forth in a rocking horse or chair. It split in two!; The wood was rotten and the whole thing was put together with spit and wax. If something "splits in two," it breaks into two pieces. If wood is "rotten," it has been eaten away by bugs or time and is no longer strong. "Spit" is the saliva in your mouth, and "wax" is the substance that candles are made of. All shine and no substance, and that’s how I feel about that demonstration I saw tonight, Matt. All glitter and glamour. "Shine" is brightness from light, and in this context, "substance" refers to actual meaning, value or usefulness. "Glitter" is the act of shining with bright and colorful lights, and "glamour" is a romantic or magical attractiveness that is much loved in places like Hollywood. As long as the prerequisite for that shining paradise is ignorance, bigotry and hate, I say the hell with it. A "prerequisite" is a requirement or something that must be done before something else can happen (in this case, to get into heaven). "Bigotry" refers to prejudice and hatred, especially against those of a different religion, race, language, etc. "The hell with it" is a common way of expressing anger or disgust with a situation. Bertram, Darwin and evolution go on trial, and Rachel finds herself on the witness stand, caught between her fiancée and father. We need to keep an open mind on The Origin of Species. Charles Darwin’s’ famous book on evolution, published in 1959 (The "origin" of something is where it comes from, and "species" refers to the different divisions or classifications of animals). And those little bugs got to be bigger bugs, and they sprouted legs and they crawled upon the land. "To sprout" legs is to grow them, and "to crawl" is to move on all four hands and knees, like a baby. Then comes the fishes and the reptiles and the mammals. A "reptile" is an animal like a snake or lizard and a "mammal" is any animal in which the mother gives birth to a live baby (and not an egg). Along with dogs and the cattle in the field? Another word for cows. How does man come out of this slimy mess of bugs and serpents, according to your professor? If something is "slimy," it’s slippery unpleasant or even scary, like the insides of an animal that’s been run over. A "mess" is a dirty, offensive or unorganized situation, place or condition. A "serpent" is a snake. All this talk of slime and ooze...did Mr. Cates even make any reference to God? "Ooze" is a soft and slimy substance, often found at the bottom of water. To "make reference" to anything is to briefly mention it while talking about other things. The miracle he achieved in seven days as described in Genesis? The first chapter of the Bible, which means "the beginning." He is supposed to be submitting evidence to a jury. "To submit" something is to officially present it, and "evidence" is anything that can be used to prove a claim is true, in a trial. He has been taught that he wiggled up like an animal from the filth and muck below. "To wiggle" is to move one’s body back and forth like a snake or worm. "Filth" is extreme dirtiness, and "muck" is the wet, slimy mud or filth. I say these bible haters, these evolutionists, are brewers of poison. "To brew" a liquid is to prepare it by boiling, often in such a way that it turns into alcohol. "Poison" is any food or chemical that harms or kills. And the legislators of this sovereign state have the wisdom to demand that… the sellers of this poison clearly label the product that they attempt to sell. A "legislator" is a state law maker who works in the legislature. If a state is "sovereign," it has a certain amount of independence. "To label" a product is to show clearly, usually in writing, what it is made of. I say if this law is not upheld, this boy will become one of a generation shorn of its fate by the teachings of Godless science. "To uphold" a law is to agree that it is valid, or to enforce it. A person’s "fate" is their unavoidable future. "To shear" is take away by cutting ("shorn" is the past participle!). But if the full penalty of the law is meted out to Bertram Cates, the fate of the whole world over, who are watching us here, and listening to our every word... "To mete out" a penalty or punishment is to officially give it out. ...will rise up and call this courtroom blessed! If a person or thing is "blessed," it has been given good fortune, perhaps by God. Your witness, Sir. In a trial, a "witness" is a person who tells what they know or saw in front of the jury and others in the court room. With all due respect to the court, Sir, I think the right to think is very much on trial here, and it is fearfully in danger in the proceedings of this courtroom. "With all due respect" is a common expression that shows respect while disagreeing at the same time. For Drummond, the importance of this trial is summarized by this sentence, which shows be believes basic American rights are at risk. He’s faced with fine and imprisonment because he’s chosen to speak what he thinks. A "fine" is an amount of money that must be paid to the government as punishment for having committed a crime. Will you please rephrase your question. :: Well, let’s put it this way... is all this fuss’n’feathers about evolution, is it going to hurt you any? "To rephrase" a question is to ask it in different words. "To put" a sentence in a certain way is to use those words that are chosen. "Fuss’n’feathers" is a very old and fun way of referring to great excitement or controversy. Did it do you any harm? Still feel reasonably fit? "Harm" is injury or damage, and if a person is "fit," they are in good physical shape. No Sir, I’m a lefty. :: A southpaw, huh? A "lefty" is a person who is left-handed, and a "southpaw" is a much loved word in the sport of baseball for a person who pitches or throws with their left hand. Objection, this is an absurd piece of jacktatation! "Absurd" is an excellent word meaning totally ridiculous, and "jactatation" is an almost never used word for a false or misleading argument, or manipulation of words or logic. A specious or false premise, in this instance, as to the murder of known or unknown persons. "Specious" is an educated word meaning deceptive or misleading. A "premise" is an assumption, which may or may not be true. Ask if his faith in the holy scriptures has been shattered. The "holy scriptures" are the individual books of the Bible. If something is "shattered," it has been completely destroyed and broken into lots of tiny pieces. When I need your help. Colonel Brady, you may rest assured that I will humbly ask for it. If you tell a person they can "rest assured" that something will be done, they can be certain it will be. If you ask for something "humbly," you ask in a very modest and respectful manner. He’s the only man I know who can strut sitting down. "To strut" is to walk in a proud or overly confident manner. Your pa is a farmer?...Do you think there’s anything sinful about a tractor because it isn’t mentioned in the Bible? "Pa" is a very old and rarely used word for father or dad. If something is "sinful," it is considered to be immoral in the eyes of God. A "tractor" is a large truck-like machine for digging up land on a farm. Moses never made a phone call; Do you figure that makes the telephone an instrument of the devil? "Moses" was a major character in the Bible. "To figure" is a common slang word meaning to think or believe. An "instrument" is a tool or device, and the "devil" is the symbol of evil, often portrayed with horns growing out of his head. The defense makes the same old error of all Godless men; He confuses material things with the great spiritual values of the revealed word. "Material things" are those that exist in the physical world, while "spiritual" values refer to those things beyond the physical, including God, religion, the soul, and life after death. Why do you bewilder this child? Does right have no meaning to you, Sir? "To bewilder" a person is to confuse them. In this context, "right" is moral goodness. Realizing that I may prejudice the case of client, I must tell you that right has no meaning for me whatsoever. "To prejudice" the legal case against a defendant is to act in such a way that people will begin to unfairly think negatively about them. "Whatsoever" is used for emphasis in negative sentences. It is one of the peculiar imbecilities of our time that we place a grit of morality upon human behavior, so that the action of every man must be measured... "Peculiar" is a good word meaning odd or strange. An "imbecile" is a very stupid person, so an "imbecility" is a stupid act or situation, though this is rarely used. In this context, a "grit" is a tiny stone, or amount. ...against an arbitrary latitude of right and longitude of wrong in exact minutes, degrees and seconds. If something is "arbitrary," it is done randomly, for no particular reason. "Latitude" is distance from the earth’s equator, and longitude is the distance from Greenwich, England. Why, you made the jury believe the obscenity was in their own minds! The state of being "obscene," which in law is something so disgusting, filthy or sexually graphic that is illegal. I’m not trying to get away with anything! "To get away with" something illegal is to do it, without being caught or punished for having done it. I am simply trying to prevent the clock stoppers from dumping a lot of medieval nonsense into the United States Constitution! In this case, "clock stoppers" are people who are trying to stop the progress of science or other things they think threaten their traditional religious values. "To dump" something into the ocean is to throw it in. "Medieval" refers to the time in Europe between about 400 and 1300, when most scientific and cultural progress was stopped, in large part due to the influence of the Church. The US "Constitution" is the highest law of the country, and contains, among other things the guaranteed rights to freedom of speech and religion. This is not a federal case, Colonel Drummund. :: Well, dam it, you have to start from somewhere. In law, a "federal case" is one which is decided by federal or national courts, as opposed to the courts of one of the 50 states. "Dam it" is a crude but common way of expressing anger. Call Mrs. Rachel Brown to the stand! In a courtroom, a "stand" is the seat where a witness sits when testifying. Take it easy, son. A very common way of telling a person to calm down. Do you solemnly swear the testimony you are about to give is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God? To do something "solemnly" is to do it with great seriousness and respect, and in this context, "to swear" is to promise. These are the words that every witness in a US court still says today! He used to live next to the boarding house and he used to come over and look through Bert’s microscope. A "boarding house" is a home where lots of people live, usually temporarily. A "microscope" is device that makes extremely tiny things like cells appear much bigger than they really are, so they can be seen. He got a cramp and drowned. A "cramp" is a strong or sharp pain, often in your stomach. "To drown" is to die under water from not being able to breathe. At the funeral, pa preached that he didn’t die in a state of grace because his father didn’t allow him to be baptized. A "state of grace" is Rachel’s way of saying blessed by God. "To baptize" a person is to cleanse them by dipping their head in water (Baptism is considered an important ceremony for Christians). Tommy’s soul was damned, rotting in hellfire. Here, "to rot" is to waste away and die. Religion is supposed to comfort people, not frighten them to death. "To comfort" a person is to make them feel calm and reassured, and "to frighten" a person is to scare them. We are merely beginning to get some insight into the experiences that sometimes lead a young man astray. "Insight" is wisdom or the ability to see complicated things clearly. If a person "goes astray," they do things that are considered wrong, inappropriate or harmful, often to themselves. Objection sustained. The jury is instructed to disregard the remarks of counsel. "To disregard" a statement is to ignore it. A "remark" is a comment. Objection! Hearsay evidence is not permissible. In law, "hearsay evidence" is the testimony of one person saying what another person supposedly said. If something is not "permissible," it is not permitted or allowed. Mr. Brady, I confided in you! "To confide in" a person is to tell them very personal information or secrets, on the assumption they will not tell others. Rachel, you are testifying under oath. It is unlawful to withhold pertinent information. If a person testifies "under oath," they have legally promised to tell the truth (and can be charged with the crime of perjury if it is discovered they have lied). If information is "pertinent," it is relevant and important. He said man created a vengeful God out of his own bigotry, and the devil out of his own hell. If a person is "vengeful," they have a desire to hurt those who have hurt them. "Bigotry" is prejudice or hatred toward a particular group of people, such as blacks or Jews. Did he say there was nothing but a world of stars and moons and galaxies and universal dust? A "galaxy" is an astronomical word for a group of solar systems that are grouped together. What did he say about the holy state of matrimony? "Matrimony" is the condition of being married. You want the good people of this town to see what happened to his brain so they can help him back to his senses, don’t ya? To help a person "back to their senses" is to help them get back their intelligence or common sense. Note that "you"---->"ya" in rapid speech. Under the circumstances, I believe the witness should be excused. "Circumstances" are the facts or details of a situation. If a witness is "excused," they’re no longer needed and are allowed to leave. Do you have any objection to excusing the witness from cross-examination at this time, subject to recall? In a trial, "cross-examination" is when a lawyer for the other side has an opportunity to question a witness. If a witness is "subject to recall," they may be called back to testify at a later date. They just pulled you apart like a plucked chicken. If a chicken is "plucked," its feathers are pulled out, one by one. She just handed your head on a silver platter. A "platter" is a tray for serving food. This is Hornbeck’s way of telling Cates that he was badly hurt by what Rachel said as a witness. Don’t tie my hands, son. :: Let her go, or I’ll change my plea to guilty. "To tie a person’s hands" is to greatly limit their choices or options in a difficult situation. A "plea" is the act of declaring oneself innocent or guilty before a trial. Frustrated by the judge’s refusal to let scientists testify, Henry calls Matthew to the stand to explore the relationship between religion and science. May I have your autograph. The signature of a person, usually asked of a famous person. Certainly any testimony related to his so-called infringement of the law must be admitted. "So-called" is an excellent way of expressing cynicism or doubt as to the validity or truth of the word that follows, or, another way of saying ‘supposed.’ Would the court rule out testimony that the so-called murder weapon was incapable of firing a bullet? "To rule out" evidence at a trial is to not allow it to be presented. A "weapon" is any kind of device for hurting or killing, such as a gun. I fail to grasp the learned counsel’s meaning. In this context, "to grasp" is to understand (It usually means to hold). How can they pass judgement if they don’t know what it’s all about? "To pass judgement" on something is to decide on whether its moral or immoral, true or false, etc. The very law we’re here to enforce excludes such testimony. In this usage, "very" means exact or precise. "To exclude" something is to keep it out. They do not want such zoological hogwash slopping around the school rooms. "Zoology" is the study of animals. "Hogwash" is an excellent little word that means nonsense or bullshit. If something is "slopping around," it is flooding or spreading out in a particular enclosed place. I refuse to allow these agnostic scientists to employ this courtroom as a sounding board for a platform from which they shout their heiresses into the headlines. An "agnostic" is a person who believes you cannot know if there is a God. In this case, "to employ" a room is to use it, and a "sounding board" is a process in which an idea is given to the public to see how it will be accepted. A "platform" is a place or organization, such as a stage, from which ideas can be spread to others, and a "heresy" is an opinion that goes against church teachings. Does your honor deny in one breath the existence of zoology, geology and archeology? "Your honor" is how you address a judge in a court room. "To deny" the existence of something is to claim it doesn’t exist. "Geology" is the study of rocks, and "archeology" is the study of ancient civilizations. I call Dr. William Aronson, anthropologist, philosopher, author and one of the most brilliant minds in the world today. An "anthropologist" studies different cultures and peoples around the world. "Brilliant" is an excellent word meaning extremely intelligent. Their testimony is basic to the defense of my client. "Testimony" is the spoken words of a witness on the stand in a trial. In this context, "basic" means critical or extremely important. It is as incontrovertible as geometry to any enlightened community of minds. If a statement is "incontrovertible," there is so much evidence for it that it can not be reasonably denied. If a person is "enlightened," they have much intelligence or wisdom, and a good understanding of the world around them. A person’s "mind" is the part of their brain that allows them to think and feel emotions. Why do we need experts to question the validity of a law that is already on the books? The "validity" of something it its truthfulness, or in this case, its practical effect. If a law is "on the books," it has already been passed and signed into effect (though note that in the US, courts can declare a law invalid if it is considered to go against the words of the US Constitution). Is Mr. Drummond saying that this expression of honest emotion will in any way influence the court’s impartial administration of the law? "Impartial" means fair, without bias or prejudice, and in this context, the "administration" of the law is its interpretation and enforcement. A wicked law destroys everything it touches, its upholders as well as its defiers. If something is "wicked," it is extremely bad, immoral or evil. Those who "uphold" the law enforce it or carry it out, and those who "defy" the law don’t believe in it and intentionally break it. Soon you may ban books and newspapers and soon you may turn Catholic against Protestant. "To ban" a book is to make it illegal. "Catholic" and "Protestant" refer to the two biggest branches or divisions of Christianity. Fanaticism and ignorance is forever busy, and needs feeding. An important word that refers to the over enthusiasm and uncritical or ignorant devotion to a political or religious cause (A fanatic is a dangerous person!) Soon we’ll be marching backward to the 16th century, where bigots burned the man who dared bring enlightenment and intelligence to the human mind. "Enlightenment" is the state of bringing critical thought and wisdom while seeking truth around you (It is the opposite of fanaticism!). I order you to show cause tomorrow at 10AM why you should not be held in contempt of this court. In law, "to show cause" means to officially explain or justify your actions. If a person is accused of being "in contempt of court," they are officially charged with disobeying or disrespecting the judge, and as such, they can be fined or put in jail (To show contempt toward a person is to look down on them with great scorn or disrespect). In the meanwhile, I order that you be held in the custody of the bailiff. Bail is fixed at $2,000. If you are in a person’s "custody," they are physically and legally responsible for you. A "bailiff" is a clerk in a court room who works for the judge, and "bail" is the amount of money the judge demands be paid as security before a person who is charged with a crime can be released. Your honor, my paper will post such a bond. "To post bond" is to pay the required bail money (The idea of bail is to make sure the accused does not run away before facing trial). Can you provide authorization to make such a commitment for your employer. In this case, to "provide authorization" is to give legal assurance. Until then, Mr. Drummund can avail himself of our municipal accommodations. "To avail oneself" of something is a fancy way of saying to use it. "Municipal accommodations" usually refer to city hotels and other places to sleep, though here it’s the judge’s way of referring to he local jail. I’ll put up my farm for Mr. Drummund. :: We have no way of ascertaining the value of your farm. In this context, "to put up" a farm is to agree to pay a bond by offering the value of the farm as security. "To ascertain" is find out or learn with certainty. He has considerably more equity in it than that. "Equity" is the amount of money that a property is worth beyond what the property owner owes the bank on their mortgage. In the US, people love to think about the equity they have in their houses! Court will adjourn and reconvene at 10AM tomorrow. If a court ‘adjourns," the trial stops for a break or for the rest of the day. When it "reconvenes," it starts again after that break. "We’ll hang Burt Cates to a sour apple tree, our Lord is marching on! Glory, glory, hallelujah" [Song] "To hang" a person is to kill them by putting a rope around their neck and having them hang from a tree or other object. "Hallelujah" is an ancient word that is used to thank God. Trick or treat! The words used by children to ask for candy during the Halloween holiday. A "trick" is something designed to fool a person, and a "treat" is usually some candy or other sweet food. Hooligans of the world, unite! You have nothing to burn but your intellectuals. A "hooligan" is a violent person or bully who is always causing trouble. "To unite" is to come together, and an "intellectual" is an educated person who writes about or thinks seriously about various issues, from politics to religion (The famous communist line was "Workers of the world unite; You have nothing to lose but your chains "). It looks like you’re going out in a blaze of glory, counselor. "To go out in blaze of glory" is to lose the fight, but to do so with great noise and honor in a way that people notice and perhaps admire (A blaze is a flame or fire). "Counselor" is a formal way of addressing a lawyer. You’ll be setting man against man, creed against creed, ad nauseum. "To set" one person against another is to get them to hate or even fight each other. A person’s "creed" is their religious belief, and "ad nauseum" means excessively, or to the point where it makes you sick. Darwin was wrong. Man is still an ape, his creed still a totem pole. A tall pole with the faces of Gods and animals carved into it, which often serve as a religious symbol for native people, such as American Indians. When he couldn’t reach them, he decided they were groceries belonging to a bigger creature, and that’s how Jehovah was born. A "creature" is a big animal or monster. "Jehovah" is an ancient Jewish or Hebrew word for God. I wish I had your worm’s eye view of history. A "worm’s eye view" of history is to see history go by from the point of view of a worm, which is a tiny narrow animal that crawls on the ground (the more common expression is a "God’s eye view…"). Why don’t you take your blinders off; Don’t you know that the future is obsolete? "Blinders" are two flap-like devices that are put on a horse’s face to prevent it from looking at objects to its side. If something is "obsolete," it’s no longer useful, often because something better has been invented. You think man still has a noble destiny. Well, I tell you he’s already started on the backward march to the salt-filled and stupid sea from which he came. "Noble" means honorable, and a person’s "destiny" is their future or fate, from which they can not escape. Any remarks leading up the contempt citation I regret very much. A "remark" is a statement, and here, the "contempt citation" is the official notice or ticket charging Drummund with being in contempt of court. I’m very sorry for any remarks that we’re made in the heat of the moment. To do something "in the heat of the moment" is to do it without thinking about it before, just out of sudden emotion. I feel no animosity toward learned counsel from Chicago. He is well known to have ridden hobby horses before. "Animosity" is anger or hatred. A "hobby horse" is an interesting expression for a subject or cause that a person is constantly thinking about or obsessed with. We commend him to learn the words of he who said, "If you thirst, come on to me, and I will give you light." In this context, "to commend" a person is to strongly advise them to do something (It also means to compliment or praise them for doing it). If it please the court, I’d like to withdraw my withdraw and continue as counsel for Bertram Cates. "If it please the court" is a formal way of asking a judge if something is acceptable. "To withdraw" from a case is to quit it, but to withdraw something is to take it back. I call to the stand one of the world’s foremost experts on the holy Bible, Mathew Harrison Brady. :: Your honor, this is preposterous! "To call to the stand" a witness is to officially ask them to testify at a trial. "Foremost" means one of the most important or best known. "Preposterous" is an excellent adjective meaning totally ridiculous. It’s highly unorthodox; I’ve never known an instance when the defense called the prosecuting attorney. If something is "unorthodox," it is very unusual, rarely done, or considered quite strange or not normal. I am right in calling upon you as an authority on the Holy Bible? An "authority" on a subject is an expert on it. It is not boastful to say that I have studied the Bible as much as any layman, and I have tried to live according to its precepts. :: Bully for you! To be "boastful" is to brag or speak highly of your own accomplishments (it’s the opposite of being modest). A "layman" is a person who is not an expert in a particular field, or in the right context, not a member of the church clergy. The "precepts" of the Bible are its most important moral teachings. "Bully for you" is an old British way of saying "Good for you!’ I suppose you can quote me chapter and verse right through the King James version. "To quote" a person is to tell the exact words that they used. "Chapter and verse" refers to the individual chapters and verses, or subheadings of a chapter, within a book. The "King James version" of the Bible is the best known version in English, named after the 17th century English King. I am not the least bit interested in the hypotheses of that book. A "hypothesis" is an educated guess, often based on scientific observation. How in perdition do you have the gall to whoop up this war about something you don’t know anything about?! "Perdition" is total destruction or damnation, but "how in perdition" is no longer used. "Gall" is great nerve or boldness, or perhaps an outrageous attitude that offends people. "To whoop up" emotion is to cause it, or to try and make it greater than it already it is. How can you be so cocksure that the body of scientific knowledge any way irreconcilable with the book of Genesis? To be "cocksure" about something is to be certain about it. If two ideas are "irreconcilable," they can’t both be right, or they can’t be put together. The "book of Genesis" is the first chapter of the Bible, that talks about how God created the universe. You will confine your questions to the Bible. "To confine" yourself to a subject is to limit yourself to that subject. You believe every word in the Bible should be taken literally? "To take literally" the words of a book is to believe every word is actually true, and describes what really happened. You figure that really happened? :: The Bible does not say ‘whale,’ it says big fish. A common slang word meaning to think or believe. That’s a pretty neat trick. :: I do not question or scoff at the miracles of the Lord, as do ye of little faith. In this case, a "trick" is an action that seems to be magical, or go against the laws of science. "To scoff" at a person is to look down on them with contempt or scorn, or to not take them seriously. "Ye" meant "you" in the days of Shakespeare. Did you ever ponder what would actually happen to the earth if the sun stood still? :: You can testify to that if I get you on the stand. "To ponder" is to think about or consider. I have faith in the Bible. :: You don’t have much faith in the solar system. The "solar system" refers to our sun and the nine planets that circle it. The earth stopped spinning on its axis, continents toppled over one another... If a planet "spins on its axis," it turns and turns in circles, around the same imaginary line that can be drawn right through the middle of it. "To topple" is to fall over, often violently and with a sudden movement. ...mountains flew into space and the earth shriveled to a cinder and crashed into the sun. "To shrivel" is to become very small and wrinkled, and a "cinder" is a piece of burnt material or ash after fire. How come they missed that little tidbit of doom? Or don’t you believe in natural law? Would you bar Copernicus from the classroom along with Darwin? A "tidbit" is a tiny piece of information, and "doom" refers to complete destruction or death. "Natural law" can be a way of referring to the natural laws of science. Copernicus was the 16th century astronomer who was the first to say that the sun, not earth, was the center of the universe. You apostles of science, for all your supposed wisdom, fail to grasp this simple fact. An "apostle" is a close follower or supporter, and in this context, "to grasp" is to understand. And Cain knew his wife? Where the hell did she come from? "The hell" is a common filler added to Wh questions to express anger, frustration and other similar emotion. You figured somebody else pulled another creation in the next country somewhere? In this case, "to pull" is to make or do, and "creation" refers to the creation of the universe by God, as told in the Bible? It frightens me to think of the state of learning in the world if everybody had your driving curiosity. "To frighten" a person is to scare them, and "driving curiosity" is a passionate desire to learn and know what is going on around you (In this case, Drummund is being sarcastic, or not being serious). This book goes into a lot of ‘begats.’ In the Bible, the verb "begat" means to reproduce or lead to the birth of, but this is no longer used today. And so on and so on. Are these people important people? A common way of saying "and things continued just like before, over and over again." In other words, all these folks were conceived and brought forth by the normal scientific function known as sex. "Folks" is a common word for people. A person is "conceived" when a sperm and egg join together after sex, and they are "brought forth" when they are born (though this last expression is never used). All these holy people got themselves begat through original sin? In the Bible, "original sin" is considered a crime against God that all people are guilty of just because they are human. What has this got to do with the State versus Bertram Cates? "Versus" means against, and when spelled ‘vs.,’ it is used as part of the title for every trial or legal case. The court must be satisfied that this line of reasoning has some bearing on the case. A "line of reasoning" is a series of questions or statements designed to prove a particular point or fact. To have a "bearing on" a case is to be relevant to it, or to effect or influence it. I am willing to sit here and endure Mr. Drummond’s sneering and his disrespect, for he is pleading the case of the prosecution, for his contempt of all that is holy. "To endure" something is to accept it or live through it, even if it is unpleasant. "To sneer" at a person to give them an angry or contemptuous look. "Contempt" is the act of looking down on someone as being stupid or inferior in some way. If something is "holy," it is sacred or is believed to have been blessed by God. I object! On what grounds? In this case, a word for reason or logic. In the individual human mind and in a child’s power to master the multiplication table, there is more sanctity than all your holy holies and Josanas! "To master" a subject is to become expert at it. The "multiplication table" shows what every number up to 9 multiplied by another up to 9 equals. "Sanctity" is another word for holiness. An idea is a greater monument than a cathedral, and the advance of human knowledge is a greater miracle….than the parting of the waters. A "monument" is a giant building or other structure that honors a person or idea. A "cathedral" is a huge church, and "the parting of the waters" refers to the story in the Bible when the water in the Red Sea was parted or separated in order to allow the Jews of ancient Egypt to escape. Are we to forego all this progress because Mr. Brady now frightens us with a fable? "To forego" something is to do without it, and a "fable" is a children’s story with magical animals and characters. Progress has never been a bargain; You have to pay for it! A "bargain" is a good product that is sold for a price that is much less than it could be sold for. Why do you deny the one faculty of man that raises him above all the other creatures of the earth? In this context, a "faculty" is a skill or ability. The mosquito is more prolific, even the simple sponge is more durable. If an animal is "prolific," it reproduces quickly. A "sponge" is a tiny and simple animal that lives under water, and something that is "durable" is strong and lasts a long time. Do you think a man should have the same privilege as a sponge? A "privilege" is a right or opportunity that is given by others. He is deluded! If a person is "deluded," they do not have a strong sense of reality, but believe in things that can’t possibly be true I am more interested in the rock of ages than the age of rocks. In the Bible, the "rock of ages" refers to Jesus and God. You managed to sneak in some of that scientific testimony after all. "To sneak in" something is to secretly or quickly get it in, before anyone notices or has time to object. These are the remains of a marine pre-historic creature found in this very county which lived here millions of years ago... The "remains" of an animal are what is left of it, perhaps millions of years after it has died. A "county" is an administrative unit of a state, which is usually physically bigger than a city. ...when these very mountain ranges were submerged in water. A "range" of mountains is a series of several, one next to the other. If a mountain is "submerged" in water, it is totally covered by water. Your professor is a little mixed up on his dates; That rock is not more than 6,000 years old. If a person is "mixed up," they are confused by the facts. A fine Biblical scholar, Bishop Usher, has determined for us the exact date and hour of the creation. It occurred in the year 4004 BC. A "scholar" is a person who seriously studies or researches a subject. In this context, "the creation" is the story in the Bible in which God creates the universe, and "BC" means before Christ (as opposed to AD, which means after the death of Christ). It is a computation that said bishop arrived at by the ages of the prophets as set down in the Old Testament. A "computation" is a mathematical calculation. In this context, "said" means "this just mentioned," and a "bishop" is an official in the church. A "prophet" is a person who speaks to God or predicts the future based on talks with God. "The Old Testament" is the first part of the Bible, before the arrival of Jesus (which is described in The New Testament). Then you interpret!….The first day could have been a day if indeterminate length! "To interpret" a text is to explain it, or to try and understand what it is saying. If the length of a day is "indeterminate," it is not known. It is the revealed word of the almighty God! Another word for all powerful. So you, through oratory, the legislature or whatever, pass on God’s orders to the rest of the world! "Oratory" is the art of public speaking. Each man is a free agent! :: Then what is Bertrand Cates doing in a Hillsboro jail?! In philosophy, if a person is a "free agent," they are free to act for themselves, but must accept the results of their actions. Suppose that Mr. Cates had the influence and the lung power to railroad through the legislature a law saying only Darwin could be taught in the schools? "Suppose" is a way of saying "Imagine if…" In this case, "lung power" is the ability to speak loudly (a person’s lungs are the organs in the chest through which they breathe). "To railroad through" a law is to put extreme pressure on people in the legislature to pass it. The gospel according to Brady! The words of the Bible, especially those that deal with Jesus (More generally, it means words of ultimate religious truth). Suppose a little human being, a Cates or a Darwin, had the audacity to think God might whisper to him! "Audacity" is an excellent word that means boldness, nerve or gall. Must a man go to prison because he differs with a self-appointed prophet? "To differ" with a person is to disagree with them. We will slip you in neatly between Numbers and Deutotonermy. These are two chapters in the Bible. The trial ends, but the law against teaching evolution is still to be challenged, and the battle over ‘values’ continues... I want the whole world to know that Matthew Brady is a fake! A good word for a person who pretends to be what they are not. He encouraged me to open up my heart to him and then he twisted my words. He tricked me! "To open up your heart" to a person is to tell them your secrets, or to confide in them. "To twist" a person’s words is to change or bend them so that you tell others they said words that in fact they did not say. "To trick" a person is to fool or manipulate them. Everything he stands for must be evil too. "To stand for" something is to represent or symbolize it. What do you understand of the sum of a man’s life? :: He betrayed me! "The sum" of a person’s life is the total and complete experience, from their birth onward. "To betray" a person is to turn against them in time of great need, or to turn them over to their enemies. You see my husband as a saint, and then you see him as the devil. A "saint" is a person who is considered to have lived a life of pure goodness. I’ve watched him carry the burdens of people like you. A "burden" is a big or troubling responsibility. You never sacrificed your principles just to win. A person’s "principles" are their most important moral beliefs. And they’ll topple it the minute they find a flaw in it. "To topple" something is to push it over or down, and a "flaw" is a small imperfection, defect or weakness. I messed things up pretty badly for us, didn’t I? "To mess up" a situation is to make it worse or to create problems where perhaps there were none before. We got a direct line to WGN Chicago. As soon as the jury returns, we’ll broadcast the verdict. "WGN" are the letters of a radio station (In the US, radio and TV stations are given three or four letters for identification). In a trial, "the verdict" is the decision of the jury as to whether a defendant is guilty or not guilty. This is going to be a barren source of amusement. "Barren" means not fertile or productive, and "amusement" is fun or entertainment.. Please stand by… The words a radio announcer tells their audience while waiting for news. I’ve been on the phone to the Lieutenant Governor. In a state, a "Lieutenant Governor" is the second highest official in the government. The boys in the capital seem to think it wouldn’t do any harm to just let the whole thing simmer down. The "capital" of a state or nation is where the government is located. "Harm" is damage or injury. If a situation "simmers down," it becomes calmer and less emotionally charged. I have an obligation to the law. :: Don’t forget that November is not too far off. An "obligation" is a duty to do something. Note the second sentence refers to the fact that elections in the US are in November (and in many states, state judges are elected). The verdict of the jury is unanimous. If a decision is "unanimous," then every person voted the exact same way (In a criminal trial, a guilty verdict must be unanimous). The profound repercussions of what has happened in this courtroom can be known only in the future. "Profound" is deeply important, and "repercussions" is another word for consequences or results. This court is still in session. If a court is "in session," it is still officially conducting the trial. The prisoner will rise to hear the sentence of this court. "The sentence" of a court is the punishment that is given to a person who has been convicted of a crime. I don’t have the eloquence of some of the men you’ve heard in the last few days. "Eloquence" is the ability to speak clearly and with great intelligence, wisdom or insight. I’ve been convicted of violating an unjust law. If a person is "convicted," they are found guilty. "To violate" a law is to break it, and if a law is "unjust," it is unfair or immoral. There is no precedent to guide the bench before passing sentence. "Precedent" refers to what others have done in a same or similar situation. "The bench" is one way of referring to the judge, and if a judge "passes sentence," he announces what the punishment will be. The bench deems it proper to sentence Bertram Cotes to pay a fine of $100. "To deem" is to believe (though this is rare), and "proper" means appropriate or correct. The prosecution takes exception. Why, the issues are so titanic, the court must mete out a more drastic punishment, to make an example of this transgressor! "To take exception to" an action is to strongly disapprove of it. If an issue is "titanic," it is extremely big or important. "To mete out" punishment is to give it out or order it. "Drastic" means extreme, and "to make an example" of a person is to punish them in such a way that others will notice and not do the same thing. A "transgressor" is a person who breaks the law. We are going to appeal this decision to the state Supreme Court. "To appeal" a legal decision is to officially ask a higher court to change the decision of the jury or lower court. I declare this court adjourned. If a court is "adjourned" it is finished for the day. Colonel Drummond’s point of procedure is well taken. In law, a "point of procedure" refers to how a trial is run by the judge. We have seen vindicated the faith of our fathers! If a person or belief is "vindicated," it is shown to be correct or justified. He died of a broken belly. A person’s stomach. Can I quote you in the obituary? :: Write anything you please. An "obituary" is the brief summary of a person’s life that is printed in a newspaper after they die. In this context, "please" means want. You know that fits!; He delivered his own obituary. Here, "to fit" means to make sense. We’re growing an odd crop of agnostics this year. A "crop" is a food that is planted, such as corn or apples. "Agnostic" are people who believe you cannot know if there is a God. You never put a noun against a verb except to blow up something. "To blow up" something is to explode or destroy it. What am I accused of? :: Contempt of conscience, sentimentality in the first degree. In this context, a person’s "conscience" is their sense of responsibility or guilt if they do something wrong. "Sentimentality" is the state of being emotional about romance, people or the past, instead of being rational. Let’s leave the lamentations to the illiterate. A "lamentation" is an expression of deep regret or sadness. If a person is "illiterate," they don’t know how to read. What is this? Be kind to bigots week? Why should we weep for him? To be "kind" to a person is to treat them nicely or gently. A "bigot" is a person who hates those from different races, nationalities, etc. "To weep" is to cry with great sadness. That bible-breathing bunko artist. A "bunko artist" is a con man, or a person who is always trying to fool people into giving up their money. You hypocrite, you fraud! The atheist who believes in God! A "hypocrite" is a person who does not live up to the moral principles that they claim to believe in. A "fraud" is a person who is a fake, or is not who they claim to be. Everything’s grist for your mill, isn’t it? If something is "grist for the mill," it is material that can be written about or discussed ("Grist" is a type of grain, and a "mill" is where wheat or other grains are turned into bread).
Inherit the Wind Some Potential Questions for ESL Class Discussion
1. How are the cultural and religious issues that were raised in the monkey trial still alive today in the United States? Are there similar cultural tensions in your own country? 2. Are religion and science always opposed to each other? 3. Was Henry Drummund against religion, or just the law that Cates broke? What about E.K. Hornbeck? 4. Is it hard for you to see how Drummond and Brady could have been good friends? 5. If you had been Cates, would you have also knowingly broken the law? 6. Years after the Scopes trial, the US Supreme Court declared that religious views of how the universe began (such as creation in the Christian Bible) could not be taught in public schools; Is this as bad as not allowing the teaching of evolution, or do you think there is a logical reason for why this makes sense? 7. Was Brady an extremist? Was Reverend Brown? 8. What did you like or not like about this movie?