Virtues In Mother Courage

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Mother Courage and Her Children: Act 7-9 – How is Kattrin in these scenes characterized and the “Song of the Temptations of the Great” reveal Brecht’s view of virtues? In the play, Mother Courage and Her Children, various virtues are mentioned throughout the play. Early on in the play, even Mother Courage herself predicts her children’s death due to their respective virtues, showing that virtues are deemed a liability in war. Eilif will die for his bravery, Swiss Cheese for his honesty, and Kattrin for her kindness. Kattrin is portrayed as a character that is different from the others, as she is the only character of pure intentions, but all the more, she is disadvantaged and still suffers a similar fate as her siblings, as revealed in proceeding scenes. The “Song of the Great Solus of this Earth” also reveals Brecht’s mockery of the practice of virtues during war, revealing virtues’ fatality to their possessors. In scene 9, the Cook tells Mother Courage that he has a small inn back in Utrecht, where she can join him. However, he also states “if [mother courage] is bringing [Kattrin], it’s all off”, because the “customers don’t like having something like that always before their eyes” (97). Unfortunately, Kattrin hears them, as “[she] has her head out of the back of the wagon” (97), and decides to save her mother the trouble of deciding, and “clambers out of the wagon with a bundle. [Making] sure they are both gone” (100), and ventures off by herself. This scene reveals Kattrin’s virtues of selfless kindness and empathy. She prefers to suffer along side other peasants affected by the war, and save her mother the dilemma of whether to abandon her or not rather than fighting for her right as Mother Courage’s daughter and following them to Utrecht. Kattrin represents the little people of the society, she tries to reveal the truth, but because she is mute, the
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