Hillsboro Monkey Trial

Decent Essays
“A man is on trial! A man who wishes to think!” In a small town drenched in summer heat, a young man named Bert Cates is put on trial for questioning the bible's teachings, and introducing the school children to Darwinism. Though the genesis of this play is the 1925 monkey trial, the setting is classified as not too long ago. This being because the right to think is always on trial in one way or another. The right to think is important because it allows society to prosper, sciences and philosophies to expand, and supports diversity of opinions .

Free thinking allows society to prosper. In Hillsboro free thought is considered a criminal offense, and can cause high tensions. This tension can cause people who were once neighborly and civil, to turn on each other. While Brady holds a religious meeting, he speaks harshly of cates, and the people of the town are quick to agree. “ pointing a finger towards the jail. Do we curse the man who denies the word? All yes!” (Lawrence page 65)
These are people who once knew Bert. Who say that he always picked up his bill, who allowed him to teach their children.
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They all have conformed to the pattern that society accepts the most, religious. And further than that, catholic, which at this time was the most widely accepted religion. This shows the readers how one sided Hillsboro’s opinions were. Some will argue that this can’t be true because Cates has an opinion of religion. Tell em’ what your father really said! That Tommy's soul was damned withering in hell fire!” (Lawrence 77) Yes cates was raised in social conformity and still managed to form an opinion. The flaw in this logic is that bert only formed his opinion after reading someone else's. Darwin was not raised in a place like hillsboro, he was free to think. Berts opinion is just the opinion of someone else. Though he agrees with it in hindsight, he was unable to form it himself in
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