The Good Person of Szechwan

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“Bad people get rewarded whilst good people suffer” I believe is one of the chief concerns in this play the good person of Szechwan. You could say this one saying summaries the whole play. This is what the play is about good people suffering. The main obvious example of this in the play is the example of Shen Teh. She was the one good person that the gods found, but because of all the bad people (the parasites) who exploited her, she had to suffer. She firstly suffered because of her so called relatives at the beginning all the way back in scene two they took advantage of her kindness and bombarded her and she couldn’t say no.

One of the main speeches in this scene is said by one of the relatives as soon as they arrive ” We heard you were doing nicely now and just fancy we’re without a home”. You as an audience have got to ask the question would the relatives come to visit if Shen Teh didn’t have the shop? Shen Teh lets her relatives stay and suffers the consequences . Another example of this curliness is the example of sun. He blatantly takes advantage of Shen Teh’s attraction and maybe love to him. This is very wrong but Sun doesn’t care as long as he is able to follow his dreams.

But once again Shen Teh falls into the trap of the parasites. He plans on selling her shop so he can follow his flying breams in Pekin. An example to show that Sun isn’t at all in love with Shen Teh is in scene eight he says to Shui Ta “And the girls not one hesitate when it’s a question of giving”. Luckily enough Shui Ta manages to control the situation. Throughout the play Brect gets this point across very well. He shows the suffering that shen Teh through with speeches from Shen Teh herself. Most of these speeches are in rhyme and are often to the audience, this lets the audience connect with Shen Teh’s suffering.

An example of such a speech to show her suffering is at the end of scene two she says “The dingy which might save us, is straight away sucked into the depths: Too many of the drowning Snatch greedily at it. ” This speech gives the impression that Shen Teh is defiantly suffering because of the greedy, her family, who snatched at her only life line, the shop. Another very important point in this play that Brecht is trying to get across to the audience is that you cant get a good person in a bad world.

You ave to change the environment that the people live in before you can change the people. This point is expressed once again in the character Sun. He is not going to change in himself, to be a better person the world has got to change around him first. For example he wouldn’t need the money from Shen Teh if the man in Pekin wasn’t demanding money for him to have the job, surely if a person is qualified to get the job that person shouldn’t have to pay to get the job. Another way Brecht gets this point across is again by the speeches from Shen Teh.

A prime example of such speeches in scene five when Shen Teh again is communicating with the audience. “In our country only a little is needed before men start throwing their unbearable life away. This gives the audience the impression that there is something seriously wrong with the world that Shen Teh lives in, maybe its capitalism or maybe its pure evilness but the world has defiantly got to change before the people can begin to change. The audience after seeing this scene should be asking themselves the question “is our world like this? “.

This is an interesting way for Brecht to get his point across because it lets the audience relate more with what is happening in the play by letting the audience compare Shen Teh’s world to our world today. Obviously the situations have been exaggerated a bit in this play but the point is still there the world has got to change. Throughout this play Brecht uses humour to relate to the audience, irony in particular. This play is not likely to happen in real life. Three gods are hardly likely to come down from the sky and communicate with mortals.

Or throughout the play the other characters all believe that Shui Ta is a real person but in reality Shui Ta is Shen Teh. Surely the people that Shen Teh are around every day would recognise her with trousers and a hat on! This is almost like a ptomaine type scenario where the actor is pretending to be someone else. Humour also comes through in a patomine style again right at the begining of the play when wang looking for some where for the gods to stay. Wang is searching for Shen Teh and Shen Teh is also looking for wang.

This is a typical Ptomaine scene where people are running around the stage, this would obviously create a lot of humour for the audience. Humour again comes through in scene six when the gods are speaking to Wang in a dream. In this scene the impression is given that the gods are very business like and want to close and finish the case of finding a good person. They are trying to find enough evidence to show there boss. The impression is given by them using words like “keenly, minor charities, eight indeed and wonders. ” also the tone of the actors voice would create a lot of humour.

Exploitation, capitalism and the feeling that one person is higher than the other are all issues that brecht has arisen throughout this play. Mr Shu Fu is a classic example of this, he believes that he is higher than everyone else due to his money and flash capital. He takes advantage of the fact that shen Teh is in some financially difficulties he tries to buy Shen Teh’s love. I don’t think that Mr Shu fu is a bad person because he does no harm but he is an exploiter. All this exploitation that we have heard about in this play can be explained using an exploitation triangle, this shows that everyone is exploiting everyone else.

I think what Brecht is trying to do is male the audience again ask them selves questions like ” Why is there so much exploitation? and Why is there the need for exploitation? ” This again brings me back to my previous point you cant change the people before you change the world. The way Brecht ends this play isn’t conventional at all. Usually at the end of the play you find out what has happened to the characters either they live happily ever after or it’s a tradedgy like in many plays. But in this play it does not happen, the story is left open.

By doing this Brecht hopes the audience will go home asking them selves questions like ” Does the world need to be changed? , why is there so much exploitation in this world? And is there a good person in this world even in the world today? ” Brecht hopes that the audience wont go home and sleep peacefully he hopes they will go home and think about what needs to be changed. Maybe Brecht hoped that after people today watched the play they would try and change the world so it’s better place for good people to live in.

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