Get help from the best in academic writing.

Lessons of Major Barbara, Good Woman of Setzuan, and Madwoman of Chaillot

Lessons of Major Barbara, Good Woman of Setzuan, and Madwoman of Chaillot

Philosophers all over the world have pondered over the idea of

evil. This brings up another extremely essential question, “how should we

live?” Because we know that evil is existent in our world, does that mean we

must live with the knowledge, accept it and conform to society’s ideal that

only the cunning survive? Or do we keep our original identity of purity and

goodness at heart in our everyday lives. The three pieces of literature that

we read all deal with this dilemma in different ways. And like in all good

stories, good prevails over evil.

The first play that we will discuss was my favorite. It is entitled The

Good Woman of Setzuan written by the German author Brecht. This story is

about a woman that was too kind for her own good. Her name is Shen Te. In

the beginning of the story she is a prostitute but at the end she becomes a

successful tobacco shop owner, fiancé and mother-to-be. Shen Te also creates

another character that displays her deceitful and greedy side, or the side of

her that could survive in her society, Shui Ta. He is a brash and brutal

young man who drives spongers away.1 Yang Sun is an unemployed airman that

Shen Te saves from committing suicide. He is a big creep that later admits

that he has no intention of marrying her and is after Shen Te’s money.

The story starts off when three gods come to earth in search of a good

human being. Unless they discover at least one, the world would cease to

exist. After traveling from town to town they arrive in Setzuan. No one in

the town would let them stay the night except Shen Te, who was then the town

prostitute. The gods realize that they have found their one good human and

repay her kindness and hospitality with a large sum of money. After the gods

depart, the townspeople all flock to Shen Te in hopes of receiving some of

her money. This is when she is forced to disguise herself as Shui Ta, her

crude male cousin. She then falls in love with Yang Sun who she saves from

suicide. After they plan to get married, Yang admits to Shui Ta that he is

after Shen Te’s money and does not plan to marry.

Triumph Over Nature in The Good Earth

Triumph Over Nature in The Good Earth

The Good Earth, by Pearl S. Buck, is a tale of a farmer who rises from a commoner to a wealthy land owner. The setting is pre-Revolutionary China, sometime in the 20th century. The story is one of a farmer who becomes a wealthy man through hard work while facing droughts and floods. He becomes very rich, but forgets his true love, the earth, which got him to where he was. The mood of the story is serious. Droughts and floods affect the outcome of crops, which in turn, affect the people who need them to survive. As the story progresses, the mood changes to become more light hearted and careless. It is typical of today’s society of how the main character becomes rich and then forgets what it was like to be on the other side. He spends money carelessly and neglects to remember how his life was just a few months before.

The main element of the story is definitely character. We look through the eyes of the main character and see how he, as a person, grows and matures. There are many characters in the story. The first is Wang Lung, a farmer and the main character of the story. The author tells the story through his view of life. We see Wang Lung at the beginning of the story as a young man, full of energy and love for his land. He has been raised on the land he now farms and takes great pride in maintaining it. Later in the story, he becomes a rich man, and forgets his land, “One’s flesh and blood.” As he finds out that money is not everything and cannot by happiness, he realizes his fault and returns to the earth. O-lan is Wang Lung’s wife in the story. She was a slave girl raised in the great House of Hwang. Wang Lung buys her from the house, but he sees that “there is no beauty of any kind in her face.” But Wang Lung cannot afford a beautiful wife, for he is only a farmer. O-lan is a strong, but quite character. She bears hardships as they come and gives Wang Lung four children. Wang Lung seems to care for her, but she in return shows very little emotion. She is a hard character to reach and only before she dies, do we see the real side of O-lan.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.