MOTHER COURAGE The education system has always tried to figure out new ways of teaching certain matters of interest, like history, where there are many points to be discuss that can be left out by authors. Text books do not fill everything that should be filled, and it is impossible to do so because there are too many things to tell and not enough space to write. There is also the fact that every professor wants to give his or her own approach to the topic, and sometimes there is not one source that tells everything the way he or she wants. At that point lectures become more and more important and those are only to be complemented with text of a variety of styles. Those sources were not initially designed to fill that requirement, but with the right approach and background information those new sources can be even better than any textbook any written.
These kinds of sources give a different approach to history and can be more enjoyable than boring textbooks. On the other hand, these variety of sources can also been incorrectly chosen and may difficult the learning process for students. Sometimes sources are not efficient transmitting the message that wants to be transmitted, and students can simply not understand beyond the history that is been told. For instance Mother Courage and Her Children, by Bert olt Brecht, it’s a story that occurs during the Thirty Years War in Europe, and can be used to help students understand this war. Is this play a good source for understanding the Thirty Years War? Or it only stays in the basic story with minimum helpful information that would help understand this event.
... of most of the western armies. Grant understood the concept of total war and believed, along with Lincoln and Sherman, ... Sherman turned north through South Carolina and North Carolina to approach the Confederate Virginia lines from the south, increasing ... Antietam caused massive casualties unprecedented in U.S. military history. In September 1862, Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation made ending ...
The Thirty Years war was caused mainly by the protestant reformation, a process caused by the split of the Catholic Church. It was all because of the lack of tolerance and the extremist ways of thought of people. In this area for example, the play is not as deep an as informative as desired, it stays only in the basics and mentioning Catholics and Protestants as rivals but it does not go deeper. “The Catholics! Surprise attack! .”And the war is a war of religion.” It does mention Religion as a point of disagreement, but it fails to really explain that this entire situation is mainly caused by religious differences. As the world is right now, with all the polemic issues started by Iraq’s invasion by the United States and the terrorist attacks perpetrated by Islam extremists, more described facts would be very useful.
Wars have been caused by many situations, but religious wars are the most prevalent over the years. As the world is right now it is facing one of these radical situations where religion and intolerance is the justification for terrible acts, just as it was in the Thirty Years War, people is fighting and dying because of that. If this issue was addressed deeply it would help students understand what is the background for situations like the one they are facing right now. The play lacks the issue of religion and, although it states that religion was involved, a more detailed description of facts would help better analyze and understand the situation.
On the other hand, the play focuses more in the drama of common people during the war. Mother Courage is more a symbol of the people rather than a symbol of the war. It is describe during the play as a strong, fearless, tough woman, however, during all those years she was struggling with her fears and trying not to loose her children. Many situations show what she would do and how she would fight her kids to protect them. During the first scene of the play, when Mother Courage, encounters herself with the recruiting officer, she makes every possible effort not to loose her children to war even though they want to become soldiers. “Eil if: And Swiss Cheese wants to be a soldier, too.” She acts as her children are not smart enough to know what is better for them, and tries as hard as she can to evade that situation.
... about to break.' The storm in this case was the war. People were so terrified by it that they were still in ... make some real progress and establishments. But as the war broke out, people lost all hope and dreams. They couldn't rely ... in progression and further developments. Unfortunately, World War I broke out. Nevertheless, the optimistic people of Europe still did not doubt the ...
She is not going around dangerous territories because she wants to, she is doing it because is the only option that she has. More than motives of the war, the life of Mother Courage represents what the people had to do to survive during those war times. They were afraid that their children wanted to be soldiers for the wrong motives, and that they were to na ” ive to understand the war. That is the big problem of young people at that time and also one big problem of the play, it is not clear which are the motives of the war. The same that is happening in the 21 st century, wars that are being fought without crystal clear reasons. Although the Thirty Years War had its motives, for the reader those are very ambiguous.
Another topic that is clearly discussed in the play is the situation of people living during these war times. Starvation, which is not only because of the war but because of the situation previous to the war, is a very difficult thing for people living parallel to the conflict. As expected, common people are the biggest losers because they have to deal with a situation caused by a war they probably do not even understand. People that are not involved in a conflict have two paths to follow, the first one is to join the war and the second not to join the war but try to survive beyond the conflict. Mobilization is very limited and the few that are not part of the conflict have a real hard time trying to continue with their lives and survive. That fact is represented by the surprise of everybody watching how Mother Courage moves around.
“They call me Mother Courage ’cause I was afraid I’d be ruined, so I drove through the bombardment of Riga like a madwoman… .” She is very scared about what is happening, that is why she decides to go against everybody would do and go around trying to survive and save her children. The other path that can be followed is to join the army and go to war, a way many choose because they believe in something but others take that way for the wrong reasons. The play lacks the explanation of the causes of the war; however, it clearly states two reasons why people are fighting in it. One reason is that people do not believe in peace as the best way to live but find war as the perfect state for the humanity.
... the audience that only people like Mother Courage can survive in the world. By making us despise Mother Courage, Brecht is trying to ... her children? Are we completely misinterpreting Mother Courage's intentions? Consider this: Mother Courage throughout the war does what she can to keep ... many times over the course of the play. If you take everything at face value it seems that all Mother Courage ...
“What they could use around here is a good war. What else can you expect with peace running wild all over the place? You know what the trouble with peace is? No organization. And when do you get organization? In a war. Peace is one big waste of equipment.” These people firmly believe that war is the only way to manage the world and the people that live in it. This warrior personality is encouraged by the armies and is encouraged by people who want to give an explanation to their warriors for the purpose of some war. Many times soldiers are fighting in a war they do not even understand, or are fighting because they do not see other way to manage the circumstances.
The other way soldiers are encouraged to go to wars they do not believe in is the same reasons described in the play to recruit Mother Courage’s sons. “It means money. It means fame.” Those motives could encourage people to go to the war, because sometimes people do not have anything in their lives, but they have ambitions. A real good purpose could be to become a hero, or to make more money than they are currently making. When Mother Courage’s sons went to war, it was not because they firmly believed in what they were doing, they did it because they had motives in the side. Success in war means fame; soldiers may become heroes and may gain a life full of triumphs, but the great majority finish death or without any recognition for what they did.
It is not fair to trick people to go into wars for the wrong reason, the people who fights must believe in what they are doing. Sometimes is impossible to justify wars so kids are convinced to join for other reasons. The Thirty Years War was a war that changed the world, it was a great event that lasted for a very long time and that affected many lives. It is a very important success that must be analyzed for clear understanding of Europe’s history. Mother courage and Her Children lacks the clear explanation of the causes of the war, which is the most important argument to understand a process like this one. On the other hand, Brecht’s play clearly explains the human part behind the war, the struggles of people and the fears a person must face during a war.
... along. Eilif stands undecided. [Mother Courage] Half a florin it is. Mother Courage, who had always distaste d war, loses her most valuable thing ... the ability to communicate with people other then his family members, which shrunk his social life. His only chance to socialize ... of maternal instinct. This often articulates unrealistic images in people s minds. Instinct means an imposed set of values, ...
This area is were text books come short and is why some people not like them. Text books stay only in the politics of the conflicts and many times live behind what might be most important, what changes took place in the life of people. Mother Courage by itself would probably fails the objective of understanding the war, however, as this book can be read after a background of the war is given; it would make an amazing combination that no textbook can provide.