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 ...view middle of the document...
It became evident in this scene that Mother Courage is in the war for the money and her very participation in this extension of the economy is going to cost her more than just money, it will cost her, her own “blood and flesh”.
In scene three, Mother Courage yet again loses a child and again it is a result of her business. In this scene she is discussing a bribe and it allows the setup of a joke that was made earlier about Eilif who had been thinking about how much a child is worth to their mother, this is likely a result that she sold her son Swiss Cheese for a measly 5 guilders in the first scene. In this scene one of the major characters is Yvette, who is a prostitute for the soldiers, thus reflecting Brecht’s idea of war as business, this is because like Mother Courage she too profits from the war. In this scene Mother Courage is becoming increasingly frustrated because her son is prisoner and she has to bribe the soldiers keeping him, however it is not profitable to pay the bribe in full and as a result he is shot and killed. The body is then presented to Mother Courage to be identified however she pretends to not recognise the body to save herself from the same fate. This death is very symbolic and metaphorically her son dies twice, the first from the bullets, the second from the total rejection from his mother.
As always the scenes six and seven consist of Mother Courage working tirelessly to turn a profit and doesn’t care what it costs to get there whether it’s money or her children and as always it does cost her, her children. In this scene she is merely in discussion about business however she forgets about her daughter and as a result her daughter is attacked and her face permanently scarred. This almost historic moment appears to teach Mother Courage about the price of war; however the inventory of her shop causes her to contradict her previous curse of the war. Once again Mother Courage has turned a profit and she is off again enjoying her profits however this event fails to teach her the price on life that the war causes and she continues to celebrate the war. She rides across the old battlefields cursing anyone daring to end the war and her business. She adds more verses to her which are symbolic of men going to war and dying before their time however Mother Courage still calls out to the world “war is a business proposition”.
In scene 9 Mother Courage’s fortune has worn out and the war has torn the country apart and consumed half of Germany’s population. At this point Mother Courage...