Professor Linyard is a man of science. And when he writes a book to great acclaim in which he takes the side of religion, he fully expects the satire to be understood. But when it's taken at face value, he goes along with it to better provide for his family.
Is Professor Linyard a sellout or merely a good provider? 'The Descent of Man' is a brilliant short story by Edith Wharton that leaves it to the reader to finds the answers.