The Good Person of Szechwan

by Bertolt Brecht

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Topics for Further Study

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Compare and contrast Shen Teh with Anna Fierling, the title character of Brecht’s Mother Courage and Her Children (1941). Both are women trying to survive in difficult circumstances via their businesses, but make very different choices. What do their choices say about their circumstances?

Discuss the duality of Shen Teh/Shui Ta in terms of the Ying-Yang principle in Chinese philosophy and/or the psychology of schizophrenia.

Research Brecht’s idea of epic theater, perhaps through his book Writings on Theater. Is The Good Person of Szechwan an example of epic theater? Why or why not?

Brecht was an avowed Marxist. Research Karl Marx and Marxism, and discuss the themes of Good Person in Marxist terms.

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