At the end of Mother Courage and her children I thought that the play was interesting. This play made much more sense and was easier to follow compared to Serious Money. By the end of the play the theme, conflict, and characters were easily discernable. There were constant up and downs in emotion from the subtle humor to the scenes of the fate of Mother Courage’s children. In short the play was about a mother and her obsession to the spoils war cost her the lives of her children and the play was executed well. The theme of the play was that obsession to material objects can cause the loss of people that matter.
In Mother Courage’s case, her children literally died to her obsession with the spoils of war. Whenever Mother Courage was out to make more money one of her children would die. I believe that the theme is true. The more people value their material possessions the more people forget about other things such as family and friends. As people the more we try to obtain money and worldly goods, something has to be traded in return. Most of the time the objet that is traded for material goods is time spent with family and friends.
In the end if worldly possessions are the goal of life it can make us alone in the world like Mother Courage was at the end of the play. The Protagonist of the play was Mother courage. The story revolved around her life and how she valued getting rich off the war more than protecting her children. All her actions affect each of the lives of her children. Every time one of her children die it’s because of some profit she makes from the war. Her goal was to get rich by following the war. With the theme it makes sense since with each death of a child Mother Courage appears to be destroyed emotionally.
However, her greed would take over and she would continue on to try and make more money off of the war. At the end Mother Courage had nothing left but her material goods. Even though she continues to follow the war for money it seems she does it only because she is all alone and has nothing and no one left. By the end whether or not she has learned her lesson she was the character that the play showed change and challenge hardship. The Antagonist of the play was the thirty years war. If Mother Courage could have found another way to make money other than the war none of her children would have been dragged into it.
The war caused all of the problems in the play to occur. The goal of a war was for someone to win, but death would almost always be present in war. The war claimed the lives of Mother Courage’s children. The primary conflict of the play was character versus environment. Mother Courage versus the war. Mother Courage wanted to get rich and the thirty years war had taken the lives of many people including Mother Courage’s children. The best actress was Kattrin. For being dumb and mute she had to portray everything through her actions without the help of words.
The actress did a fine job in showing that not only was she mute but also that she was a kind hearted, caring character. A character like Kattrin has to be over dramatic to show instead of tell what she thinks. Too much however, and the character would just stand out of the play in a bad way. The worst actor was the sergeant because at the beginning of the play I couldn’t hear him or understand some of the things he was saying. I didn’t realize until towards the end of the play that Mother Courage’s children had died based on their virtues, which had been explained, in the first scene.
The set was used effectively and every little thing helped in visualizing exactly what was going on in the play. The use of the wagon, props, and the video of the soldiers marching helped to set the tone of the play. The wagon became a symbol of worldly possession because in that wagon was everything Mother Courage owned. The positioning of the actors and the way the set was constructed helped to see everything that was going on and understand what was happening. The soldiers playing in the background helped to remind the audience that the setting of the play was in the middle of a war.
The costumes did their job in depicting what each character was and their purpose during the war and the play. The costumes were not too flashy and fit with the era as well. For example, the costumes helped show that Yvette was a prostitute that went from rags to riches and that she only married a man of the army for their money. By the death of he husband she became fatter and dressed more eloquently. The use of the lighting to set the mood was executed well. I especially liked how the lighting worked in the scene where Mother Courage and the cook had to sing for food.
The way the lighting worked was as if the background was a dim blue color and it truly seemed like they were out in the snow. It changed the mood to a slow crawl and filled the atmosphere with despair. Another scene that was set up well with the lights is the scene when Mother Courage’s possessions were taken out of her wagon. For the same reason the dim lighting brought the mood to a slower and sad pace. The songs were a nice addition to the play. It helped break up the long conversations and added a nice change of pace. Unlike Serious Money, Mother Courage had many more songs.
With the songs the play didn’t seem so long. The extra sounds like the gunfire, cannon fire, and even the soldiers marching helped in making the setting of the play feel like a warzone. Even the drum roll when Mother Courage was trying to haggle for Swiss Cheese made everything stop and the silence after just made everything more dramatic. In conclusion, I believe that with everything working the way it was Mother Courage was an interesting play that had humor, song, and portrayed the danger of obsession to material possessions.