• May 19, 2019

The Good Woman of Setzuan has ratings and reviews. In , Hannah Arendt hailed Bertolt Brecht as beyond a doubt the greatest living German p. Bertolt Brecht’s choice of the non-existent locale “Setzuan” as the setting for his drama “The Good Woman of Setzuan” is interesting in many respects. First, as a. Analysis and discussion of characters in Bertolt Brecht’s The Good Woman of Setzuan.

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The Good Person of Szechwan German: Guess that’s why I became a lawyer. Just think about it. However, due to her essential goodness, unselfish behavior, and newfound prosperity, she becomes a magnet for parasites, who along with a corrupt landlord, hangers-on and an exploitive lover, nearly put her out of business. It is a perfect dream to be able to keep a controlled balance by taking a secret double role – helping in one shape, keeping parasites at bay in the other.

Then, like in Setzuan, the exploitation of the virtuous begins which gives birth to the Shui Tas of society. If somebody asks her for something, she gives it. Mar 25, Ali rated it really liked it Shelves: I have often thought of it.

Shen Te is, like everybody else, a victim to her circumstances, but she is consistently good, in spite of them. The title character, Shen Te, is a poor but warmhearted prostitute. The Good Woman of Setzuan, written during Brecht’s exile and set in Communist China, is a parable of a young woman torn between obligation and reality, between love and practicality, and between her own needs and those of her friends and neighbors.

Shen Teh also meets an unemployed male pilot, Yang Sun, whom she quickly falls in love with after preventing him from hanging himself. At the age of 35, as a highly successful playwright, poet, theatre director and dramaturg, under the Weimar Republic, Brecht had to flee Germany, within days of Hitler coming to power.

Home Privacy Policy Contact Us. In the climactic trial scene, Shui Ta reveals that he and Shen Te are the same person. A seminal theatre practitioner of the twentieth century, Brecht made equally significant contributions to dramaturgy and theatrical production, the latter particularly through the seismic impact of the tours undertaken by the Berliner Ensemble—the post-war theatre company operated by Brecht and his wife and long-time collaborator, the actress Helene Weigel—with its internationally acclaimed productions.


So even as Brecht is telling us to be good and create a better world, he is showing us that goodness doesn’t come from our actions, but simply because we are good inherently.

Thanks for telling us about the problem. Had the depression not struck, the Weimar Republic, in spite of its numerous and powerful enemies, may well have survived. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Of course if you want a happy ending, you should keep in mind it is a modernist play.

Shen Teh’s growth as an individual was interesting to watch. Thomson, Peter and Glendyr Sacks, eds. She feeds more people than she can afford to, without them giving back in any way. So selflessness or adhering to Christian morality is most definitely rewarded. Is it possible to be a good and selfless person when everyone else is bad?

Shui Ta arrives at the shop, coldly explains that his cousin has gone out of town on a short trip, curtly turns out the hangers-on, and quickly restores order to the shop.

The Good Woman of Setzuan by Bertolt Brecht

Rather, she gives because sharing is a natural art, just like when she paints her mouth bright red to attract male clientele. See 1 question about The Good Woman of Setzuan….

Wojan wouldn’t really mind, but I seem to have Contact our editors with your feedback. Though the Epilogue sounds like an innocent plea from an innocent man who simply seeks answers, Brecht’s views on religion are more than emphatic in this play.

Niente di nuovo sotto il sole, verrebbe da dire. Want to Read Currently Reading Read.

The Good Woman of Setzuan

What Does it Mean to be Good? Well, you need to be that different person. In what seems no time at all, he has built her humble shop into a full-scale tobacco factory with brcht employees. Coming from an era when the author was creating parables for the stage, productions that invite you to consider such issues as how economics affect life decisions and how power is surrendered and wielded.


He expressed his opposition to the National Socialist and Fascist movements in his most famous plays. Shen Teh is rewarded for her hospitality, as the gods take it as a sure sign of goodness. Good people are doomed to poverty. Some may find exception with the titular heroine and her Manichean solution to the query — I want to go with the one I love. As the cousin, she is successful because he goes to the other end of the moral spectrum, by becoming totally selfish and extremely ruthless.

The latter made honest workers of those who Shen Te simply spoiled. Therefore, she is compelled to call on her cousin’s services setzhan longer periods until at last her true personality seems to be consumed by her cousin’s severity. The play relies on the dialectical possibilities of this problem, and on the assumption that the spectator will be moved to see that the current structure setzuaan society must be changed in order to resolve the problem.

At the end, following a hasty and ironic though literal deus ex machinathe narrator throws the responsibility of finding a solution to the play’s problem onto the shoulders of the audience. At the age of 16, WW I broke out; many of his classmates perished as cannon fodder in the trenches.

Bertolt Brecht gets on his bike

It wasn’t because of the content, no, it was because he was so schematic. Gpod the morning, the gods reward her by giving her money, which she uses to set up a tobacco shop and stop being a prostitute. Apr 19, Momina Masood rated it liked it Shelves: Not only as a Playwright, but as a person.

Sexually frank but lacking overt womam with one exception this play becomes a lumpen comedy of manners. One of the best books I’ve ever read. Shen Te, a poor woman living i The world we are introduced to in The Good Person of Szechwan is a grim one, and the premise is almost allegory: