Social Change In The Spy By Bertolt Brecht's The Spy

Better Essays
When an environment of fear is presented to a group of people, you begin to see a shift in social structures. Secondly, you begin to see those effected becoming paranoid not only of those initiating the environment, but also of each other. This is expressed in The Spy, by Bertolt Brecht. In The Spy, a German family has just finished lunch. The mother and father began to speak of what is happening to the country, forgetting of their son’s presence in the room. Once the boy leaves, his parents become fearful that he has gone to report them to the Hitler youth. Upon his return, having gone to buy chocolate, the parents are still suspicious of the boy. This fear is brought on by the possibility of punishment from the government, which has caused…show more content…
In society, there is a natural order of things. Teachers are authoritative figures to students, and bosses don’t fear their workers. This is simply how things are done, but when an environment of fear and pressure is applied to these structures, in the right circumstances, these social roles can flip. This behavior caused by stressful environmental changes is one of the reasons Bertolt Brecht wrote The Spy. In The Spy, a character called “the man” is a school teacher for students in the Hitler youth. The students are taught in the Hitler youth certain behaviors, “They deliberately encourage the kids to repeat everything.” (Bertolt Brecht, 4) the encouragement of this behavior has caused the students to have a sort of power over not only their teachers, but their parents as well. The power which is given to those who did not have it originally causes the social structure to reverse, essentially giving students the authority. This shift causes the original authority to fear the students, and sensor their selves around them. This will in turn stop the students from learning how possibly detrimental those they are blindly following can be. Additionally, in The Spy, the man and his wife have a maid servant who is also the block warden’s daughter. This expresses a social shift as well, because the same censorship is needed around an employee as well. The man expresses a distaste for the need for censorship in his own home due to his employee saying, “Have we got to have a maid whose father is the block warden?” (Bertolt Brecht, 2) the man’s concerns coming from what the maidservant may overhear, and report it back to her father. The wife replies to this questioning with, “We’ve been over that again and again. The last thing you said was that it had its advantages.” (Bertolt Brecht, 2) referring to the fact that their employing the block warden’s daughter will put them on his
Get Access