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Mother Courage and Her Children | Study Guide

Bertolt Brecht

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Mother Courage and Her Children | Scene 10 | Summary



As they pull the cart through the central part of Germany, Mother Courage and Kattrin pass a peasant's house. From inside they hear a voice singing about flowers. The first verse describes the beauty of the flowers and how much garden owners enjoy them. The second verse describes the freezing winter and how happy landowners are to have shelter. Mother and daughter stop to listen before moving on.


The song reminds audiences of the harsh divide between rich and poor, especially during the war. Completely ignoring those around them who suffer, starving and shivering in the cold, the lyrics praise the beauty of the owner's flowers and the warmth of well-heated homes. Mother Courage and Kattrin listen in silence, knowing they are powerless to change their position. While the song appears harsh, given Mother Courage and Kattrin's desperate poverty—they were begging for food only moments before—the audience may be reminded of Mother Courage's refusal to help those dying around her in Scene 5, as they are now alone too.

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