Mother Courage, Lessons Essay, Research Paper
What have the audience learned by witnessing Mother Courage’s actions?
The audience can either learn nothing or learn a lot by watching Mother Courage. This is the nature of Mother Courage. Brecht believed that an audience’s emotional involvement in the characters and action tends to cloud its grasp of the play’s message. In his so-called epic theatre style, he tried to shatter traditional stage illusions of reality by using various visual techniques and an unemotional acting style. For example, performers would “read” their lines in a deliberately expressionless manner. To Brecht, such a device allows the audience to focus on the lessons to be drawn from the play.
This is how the audience can learn nothing or many things from the play. They are detached from the action using the xxx. This will cut off the audience from the play and then have to look at it objectively. Brecht did this by not having a linear plot, but having a montage of scenes. These scenes showed the main character in a number of different situations and the audiences were meant to decide in their own minds whether that character acted in the right way. This was meant to be the way that Brecht would politicise the people to his way of thinking. Brecht was a Marxist, but never joined the Communist party as he felt it was not going to do the job it set out to do and there would still be inequalities. Therefore many of his plays had a communist theme or were set in communist countries, like The Caucasian Chalk Circle.
In Mother Courage Brecht gives us the facts about Mother Courage and he tells us what she does, sells dead soldiers things to the opposition. Mother Courage knows no
loyalty but to her business and to her family whom she tries to protect from the ravages of the carnage.
Eventually, the war exacts its pound of flesh, its payment for her long feeding upon it
. Brecht was trying to say that most people are in war for profit rather than Religion as most wars are caused by. He says that people can not live by profit alone. This is why Mother Courage went round with the army and tried to get as much money from the war as she could.
I think that this is what Brecht wanted to get across, if in the pursuit of money you forget your family then you will pay a heavy price. I think he wanted to put that message to the audience because of his strong Marxist roots. He wanted to make the audience not peruse money at the expense of their family. They may also have learned that Mother Courage was a single-minded woman who perused her money without any thought for the consequences.
I think that the audience would either have learned nothing like Mother Courage or would have listened to the messages and become weary of how they could be in an endless pursuit of money and neglect their family. They may not have the same sort of outcome as Mother Courage but should still be weary of money.