Essay On Inherit The Wind: Character Development Of Matthew And Sarah Brady

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Inherit the Wind - Character Development of Matthew and Sarah Brady

Films with intense legal themes generally present very dry, professional characters with occasional moments of character development. In the film Inherit the Wind, the head legal counsel for the prosecution, Matthew Harrison Brady, first appears as a dynamic man of the people. He and his wife, Sarah, seem to be a perfect couple in the spotlight of American politics. Both characters wear broad smiles, walk tall and proud, and sport conservative, yet fashionable attire. Sarah proudly applauds in support of her husband as he addresses the town of Hillsboro as their lead prosecutor. However, the director and screenwriter of the film continue to develop …show more content…

Sarah, initially, reminds Rachel that Matthew is asleep in the next room and suggests that their voices be lowered. However, by the end of her conversation with Rachel, Sarah's voice reaches high volumes as well, as she declares her support for Matthew. Rachel begins the conversation in a low voice as she explains her dream of being chained to the witness chair, which acts as exposition and offers an allusion to the past trial scene. As Rachel explains her disgust with Matthew and the way he used her as a witness, her voice becomes steadily louder, drawing attention to the urgency of her argument. Sarah occasionally offers her opinion on her husband's handling of Rachel's testimony, but she does not raise her voice. For example, her statement "Youth can be so pure. What do you know of good and evil?" does not match Rachel's frantic tone or volume. Her character uses this low and constant tone so as not to detract from Rachel. Then, as Sarah begins explaining her point of view, she uses an equally loud voice. She assumes the role of defender, acting dominant and persuasive like her husband in a courtroom. Sarah reaches volume peaks when saying, "I am defending the forty years I've lived with this man, and I believe in my husband. What do you believe in?" It is here that the volume is loudest in this …show more content…

She clutches his hand and pulls it to her heart. Matthew, having just awakened, appears sleepy and a bit confused. Once again, Kramer uses sound to make the moment very delicate. In Matthew's reaction to Sarah's speech of love and questioning, he loudly states, "I will make them understand. I will make them listen." The scene once again peaks in volume, but this peak is followed by a dramatic shift to Sarah's quiet, comforting voice and Matthew's whimpering. The dramatic volume shift makes the conclusion of the scene more dramatic as Matthew repeats, "Mother, they laughed at me," and Sarah comforts, It's OK, baby." Sarah assumes a motherly role as a caretaker and comforter while Matthew is reduced to a scared child. Matthew's breakdown is surprising because the audience does not expect it. Matthew plays the confident and cool lawyer who appears to in control of all situations. His childlike sobs seem to undermine the authority he exudes in the earlier scenes. That closing image contrasts directly with Matthew and Sarah's first scene together during the welcome

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