Mother Courage and her Children by Bertolt Brecht Essay

Mother Courage and her Children by Bertolt Brecht Essay

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Practice WiT- Mother Courage and her Children
Topic: Analysis of war as a business in the play mother courage and her children
In Brecht’s play “Mother Courage and her Children” he makes it clear that he thinks that war is a “continuation of business by other means”. To him war is not an unnatural occurrence or even a mistake made by society however it is one of societies many preconditions and is an unavoidable occurrence. Given that this is Brecht’s opinion there are several dialogues all depicting that war is merely another profit venture from some of the many leaders of Europe. The play follows Mother Courage which as suggested above is saleswoman and is living off the war and the profits she makes from it, and as stated by the play “big profits are not made by little people”. Mother Courage’s unending commitment to the business of war not only costs her, her children but it takes back all that it provided her in flesh.
The topic of this essay is war as a business however this is not just the topic of this essay it is evident in the play that this was its purpose. As a result of war as a business being a fond belief of Brecht’s the play shows many elements of this. It was not a drama it was a “business play” and it becomes evident throughout his play that war is not just a profitable entity is it’s also the “sum of everyone’s business transactions” as stated by the play. Mother Courage, the character, is aware of this fact and feeds off of it in parasitic fashion. A prime example of this is when the Recruiting officer in the first scene attempts to recruit her son and she attempts to charge him a 5 guilder commission. This is a very inhumane purchase of her son however she takes the sale of her own son in her stride and begins...


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...he Marxist has very effectively portrayed his opinion of war as a business and has done so in a way that has captivated many and caused many to reconsider their point of view on war. He has made war seem both profitable however it also costs a lot to maintain this profit i.e. lives. In this play it is difficult to form an opinion on Mother Courage as she appears to lack honour however there is an honour that must be attributed to her as she continues to march on despite her losses, and this reflects her journey but also the journey of the war, as the play ends with her dragging her carriage away in tattered clothes but it also mentions how the armies are just as tattered if not more so. The play is masterfully crafted in order to sell his ideas but also warn of the costs that accompany Brecht’s opinions and in this respect Brecht has succeeded on an immense level.



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