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Word Count: 1,483
Frequent references to maternal instinct can be found in So long a letter and Mother Courage and her Children Certain aspects of a character reveal themselves in the behaviour and actions taken due to the maternal instinct In addition to giving insight into character both B and Brecht use the maternal instinct to signify specific developments in the plot Therefore by analysing the presentation of the maternal instinct insights into many of the ideas that the writers are trying to communicate can be gained This paper will compare the ways in which the maternal instinct is used for the above purposes in the short novel and the play When writing Mother Courage and her Children Brechts main intention was to highlight the iniquities of fascistic and capitalist ideals To accomplish his aims the audience had to be alienated from the play and made aware of it as a play and nothing more in order to be able to comprehend Brechts ideas more effortlessly By using characteristics of epic theatre he avoided realistic appearances and created unpredictable characters like Mother Courage for example Her maternal instinct alters depending on the economic circumstances of herself In scene 1 her maternal instinct appears to be intense trying to prevent her son Eilif from being recruited into the army and the stage directions signify her earnestness She pulls a knife Go on you kidnap him just try Ill slit you open trash1 Whereas in scene 3 her sense for maternity has rapidly declined or even became immoral Dont push me I know what I am doing Say a hundred and twenty or its off2 The value of her own son is measured in amount of money This is an entirely capitalist approach which will be disliked by the shaken audience As each scene stands for itself and the spectators observe the stage from exterior the jumping of the scenes and varying of the characters makes them consider the
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