Mother Courage scene 5 Analysis

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Analysis Scene Five


Scene five is set in Magdeburg, Saxony in 1631. Mother Courage is serving two soldiers drinks. The Chaplain comes with wounded peasants and asks Mother Courage to give him cloth to cover the wounds. She refuses because she needs them for her own wealth. Kattrin runs into the ruins to save a baby, Mother Courage is more concerned with her belongings. Kattrin hums to the baby.

Linguistic Devices:


Fur coat: corruption has become very normal which is represented by the stolen woman's fur coat. The soldier does not need one yet still bothered to take it for there are no laws or anything to stop him. The coat is yet again stolen by Mother Courage as payment for the brandy. She says "it's stolen anyway" as if that makes it okay for her to take it, for he "technically" didn’t lose anything but gained the brandy and she gets the coat.

Plank: the plank symbolizes the lack of respect Kattrin has for her mother, for she resorts to threats of violence when she cannot express her frustration verbally. "Kattrin, making terrible noises, lifts a plank and threatens her mother with it." This happened when Mother Courage refused to facilitate the wounded without being paid, when Kattrin seemed to be anxious to help. This shows us how Kattrin disapproves of her mother's moral values and priorities.

The baby: The baby emphasizes that Kattrin has maternal instincts "Kattrin rocks the baby, singing a lullaby". Her own mother seems to lack that herself and actually disapproves of Kattrin's affectionate approach; she says "oh great, now you've found another baby to drag around with you".


Quote: "As she rolls up the coat and throws it into the cart, Kattrin lifts the baby in the air. Both women have their share of the spoils." Brecht here shows us how the two women differ in what they believe is valuable. He's being sarcastic by saying that the fur coat to mother courage is equivalent to the baby, a human life, to Kattrin.


Set design: "the village has been shot to pieces" which is supposed to bring about grief and loss yet, "victory music can be heard" as if destruction brings them success and pleasure.

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Quote: "Kattrin becomes very agitated and tries to het her mother to give her cloth". Characteristics usually taught to children by parents would be being helpful and kind. In this case it's Kattrin, the daughter, that's desperately trying to help and greatly disapproves of her mother's selfish behavior.

Quote: "I've duties, I've bribes" – Mother Courage. A family desperately in need of aid to survive lie in front of Mother Courage and she refuses to help because, as she claims, she cannot afford it. Why can't she? Well, other than the normal expenses required by everyone, she also ...

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