Shaw exposes the spiritual bankruptcy of his generation. In this Shavian parody, the spiritual emptiness of the bourgeoisie at the time of World War I is satirized. For example, Mrs. Hushabye and her husband survive because of the earnings of their father, the inventor Captain Shotover. He is an odd man who fools around with dynamite. As the family is running out of funds, he must invent something horrific, a weapon, to earn more money. Their quest for money, even urging Captain Shotover to create a weapon while they live an empty and useless existence, is a sign of their spiritual bankruptcy.
Ellie Dunn, for her part, wants to marry someone who will take care of her. She agrees to marry Boss Mangan because he is rich, though it is later revealed that he has no money. She says that "a soul is a very expensive thing to keep: much more so than a motor car," showing the extent to which she equates her soul with money. Ellie ultimately marries Shotover, though he has a Jamaican wife, perhaps because he is old and she won't have to put up with him for long. Her choices are superficial and spiritually corrupt. In the end, the party at Heartbreak House is bombed, and, rather than being frightened, the upper-class members of the party refuse to turn off the lights. Instead, the two lower-class members of the party are killed, and the upper-class people hope the bombers will return the next night. Their willingness to be bombed and their superficial and naive attitude about the bombs are the ultimate sign of their spiritual bankruptcy.