What are the themes in Caucasian Chalk Circle?

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thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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The Caucasian Chalk Circle by Bertolt Brecht has several interlocking themes, set against a background of Marxist ideology. Part of Brecht's ideological background is a rejection of the notion that the audience should believe in and identify with the characters on stage. Instead, in this, as all his works, Brecht includes elements of overt artifice, to make the viewer see Grushe objectively, including the use of the third person in her speech.

The next theme is the critique of bourgeois society, and the way it creates not only economic but cultural injustice, including the materialistic values of Natella Abashwili who cares more for her clothing than for her child.

The final theme is justice, and especially the difference between the letter of the law and real justice, following the spirit of the law. The character of Azdak, a sort of trickster, embodies this notion of real justice, with an absurdist twist. 

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