Mother Courage And Capitulation Essay, Research Paper
Brecht tells the reader that capitulation is not just an idea but a feeling and the reader’s objection to the world is not as strong as it once was. He tells the reader this through Mother Courage’s refusal to capitulate through out the entire work. In today’s world, people like Mother Courage cannot relate to capitulation as a feeling because of the regulations that today’s world has that Mother Courage’s world did not. As technology advances in today’s world, people place more and more restraints on individual’s and society’s personal freedoms and choices, such as the decision to refuse to capitulate.
Mother Courage’s extremely strong will and refusal to capitulate allowed her children to be killed, a mother’s worst nightmare. She did what she had to do to survive and move on after each child’s death. In today’s world, women cannot make the kind of choices that Mother Courage made. This is because if a mother decided to make a decision that allowed for her survival but in turn the death of her children. If something like this were to happen, the government would step in and take the children away or imprison the mother for abuse. The idea of capitulation cannot be a feeling like Mother Courage had because, people in today’s world cannot obtain the idea of refusal to capitulate without the repercussions that society has placed on refusing to capitulate especially when the lives of one’s children is involved. In addition, there are greater rewards for capitulation than in Mother Courage’s time. Money and other materialistic reward are given and Brecht shows that today’s readers have been desensitized to the horrors that were appalling during Mother Courage’s time, thus people of today object less and accept more than the people Mother Courage’s time.
However, the people of Mother Courage’s time had a different moral value system than the readers of today. When reading Brecht’s work, some readers of today are shocked by Mother Courage’s refusal to capitulate when she knows the result will be her children’s deaths. Although readers in the past realized that she made the decision for her own survival, readers of today are appalled at her choices. Today’s readers do not object to present world as much as the readers of the past did. In their world, survival was the goal of life and as technology progresses for the readers of today, comfort and style are the goal of life, which are qualities that are more superficial. This allows today’s readers to make few life and death decisions which allows for isolation of world events and a decreased care about the world around them.
Capitulation is an idea that the people of today do not realize exists, much less treat it as a feeling. The readers of the past fought to refuse to capitulate, as the reader of today passively live their lives avoiding conflict and conforming to what society perceives as right. Mother Courage’s action through the work allows the reader to revise their options of their world and hopefully decide to fight the conformities of their society, take chances, and live life to survive not to merely inhabit the earth.