“He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind.”(Lawrence and Lee 67) This quote is an allusion to the bible said by Matthew Brady to remind people of the town the consequences of their actions. Someone who brings trouble into their own life, will inherit nothing. In the play, Inherit the Wind by Robert E. Lee and Jerome Lawrence, the title of the book is an important lesson for the characters because corrupting your home will leave you with nothing as seen in the novel with Reverend Brown, Matthew Brady, and the town.
The first example we see of a character bringing trouble into his own house, or in this case his own family, is when Reverend Brown curses his daughter, “Lord, we call down the same curse on those who ask grace for this sinner- though they be blood of my blood, and flesh of my flesh.”(Lawrence and Lee 66). Brady attempted to warn Reverend Brown not to cut off his own daughter, but was too worried about his religion to care. The quote is then introduced by Brady when he reminds the town that those who corrupt their own house shall get nothing from it. Brady brings trouble into his own life by accepting this case, but not for trying to stick up for the law or for his beliefs, but to increase his popularity and for publicity. Also, the town and its people bring trouble into their own house; By bringing all this attention to their demoded town and reveal their own issues such as their lack of improvement and close-mindedness to everything but their religion.
The first person to inherit the wind is Brady; “The bugle voice reduces the noise somewhat further. But it is not the eager, anticipation hush of the olden days. Attention is given him, not as the inevitable due of a mighty monarch, but grudgingly and resentfully.”(Lawrence and Lee 118) Brady ends up winning the case and Cates is found guilty, but he loses the respect and nobility over the people that once worshipped him. The stress that Brady took on for this case also caused him to have a heart attack and die. “Brady’s dead.” (Lawrence and Lee 125) Brady took on this case for selfish reasons and inevitably inherited the wind, himself. Brady however is not the only person to inherit the wind.
Reverend Brown also inherits the wind at the end of the book when his daughter decides to leave him. “Im not sure, But I’m leaving my father.” (Lawrence and Lee 124) Reverend Brown, who first cursed his daughter, inherits the wind at the end of the play. Rachel’s internal conflict whether to stay with her father or go with Cates is solved when she decides to leave her father. Brown brought trouble into his own house, and in the end was left with nothing because his daughter left him. Brown could have kept his family together if he would have compromised his religion with his daughter’s desires, instead he lost her to Cates. Similar to Brown, Hillsboro inherited the wind due to its inability to assimilate their religion with innovative ideas.
The publicity and attention drawn to the town in lieu of this case uncovered its ugly traits, as well as its lack of innovation. In other words, the town is a clockstopper. “All motion is relative. Perhaps it is you who have moved away—by standing still.” (Lawrence and Lee 67) Drummond reveals that this town is close minded to everything but their beliefs, which explains their degression compared to the outside world.
Using an allusion to Proverbs 11 29, “He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind” means that those who bring trouble into their own life will end up with nothing. At the end of this play, we see the significance of the title, Inherit the Wind, and its connection to the characters within. In the play, Matthew Brady purposely brings on the stress of the case onto himself in hope that he will gain popularity and publicity from it. The troubles that come from the case also caused him to die. Reverend Brown brought trouble into his home by cursing his daughter; which leaves him with nothing because she left at the end of the play. Finally, the town inherits the wind, by bringing light to their town and revealing their flaws and their anti-progress beliefs. In the play, Inherit the Wind by Robert E. Lee and Jerome Lawrence, the title of the play foreshadows an important lesson to be learned by it’s characters. Evidently, corrupting your home will leave you with nothing as seen in the novel from Reverend Brown, Matthew Brady, and the town.
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