Questions on the Content
1.What kind of place was Dayton, Tennessee? What impression do you have of the people in the town? Dayton,Tennessee is a little town in the mountains. This is a place where a clash had been built up between the fundamentalists and modernists. Fundamentalism was strong in Dayton.
Many people are bigoted and ignorant, and many of them had never read any book except the Bible, nor had they traveled outside their native county.
2.How did John Scopes get involved in the trial? Before he got involved in the trial,he was a science teacher at a secondary school in Dayton,Tennessee.He was charged with teaching evolution and that was against the law.
3.How did media react to this trial? Why did the media pay so much attention to the event?
The media reacted to the trial with a lot of interest and enthusiasm, and the trial was reported the world over. The reason why the media paid so much attention to the trial was because the trial was about the problem of intellectual and academic freedom and the result of the trial would affect the whole country, even the whole world.
4.Paragraph 14 gives the highlights of Darrow's opening speech. What was his main argument? The main argument of Darrow's opening speech is that teachers are brought to the trial because they teach scientific theory. This is absolutely wrong, because if it is allowed,there won't be intellectual or academic freedom and the whole society will be retrogressing to the dark age of the 16th century.
5.How did Dudley Field Malone on the side of the defense respond to Byran's argument?
Byran's argument was that man is made by God in His image, and he believed in what was said in the Bible. Malone responded to his argument by saying that Mr. Byran is not the only one who has the right to speak for the Bible, because he has given most of his life to politics. The truth is eternal and always wins and needs no human agency to support it.
6.Who was H.L.Mencken? Why was there talk of running him out of town?
Henry Louis Mencken was an American editor and satirist. During the Scopes trial he wrote syndicated columns from Dayton for the Baltimore Sun.
The reason why there was talk of running him out of town was because he referred to the local citizenry as yokels.
7.What was Darrow's trump card? Did Byran fall into his trap? Darrow's trump card was to call Byran as a witness for the defense.
Byran knew that it was a trap, but he could not refuse the challenge. He had no choice but to fall into the trap.
8.Why did the writer call the questioning of Byran by Darrow's on Genesis the climax? Who won in this episode?
Byran was an expert on the Bible and his reputation as an authority on Scripture is recognized throughout the world. It's out of everybody's expectation that Darrow would call Byran as a witness for the defense.Because of the wording of the anti-evolution law, the prosecution was forced to take the position that the Bible must be interpreted literally. Darrow, while questioning Byran on Genesis, successfully pointed out the loopholes in the Bible, and won hands down in the episode.
9.What was the verdict of the trial? What did Malone call Scopes' conviction a "victorious defeat"? Which side do you think won the case: the state of Tennessee or John Scopes? Why do you think so?
The verdict of the trial was guilty and John Scopes was fined 100 dollars and costs. John Scopes lost the case in court but he actually won the case, because it is, in Malone's words,"a victorious defeat".