It’s always important to be touched. Writers know and understand this idea. Whether the audience feels good or bad about whom or what you present is not as important as the fact that they feel something. Bertolt Brecht’s Mother Courage and Her Children is a perfect example of a work that doesn’t leave us in very high spirits but touches us in such a way that it becomes even more powerful than if it had.
Throughout the play the title character, Mother Courage, is presented to us in such a way that the reader is usually left not knowing how to feel. We have with two choices. On the one hand she can be a money grubbing, self concerned woman who only cares about herself and those directly related to her money. On the other hand she can be considerate and caring mother who only wants to protect her children. It’s an issue the reader wrestles with many times over the course of the play.
If you take everything at face value it seems that all Mother Courage is driven by is profit. But then one has to think . . . What’s is her motive? Is it her children? Are we completely misinterpreting Mother Courage’s intentions? Consider this: Mother Courage throughout the war does what she can to keep her daughter Kattrin “innocent.” Now as awful as it sounds prostitution is a pretty lucrative business. If Mother Courage was only driven by profit wouldn’t she decide that maybe selling Kattrin...
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