The play: Mother courage and her chidren
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Brecht's intention in the story Mother Courage is to illustrate how Capitalism can bring people to do things completely out of character in order to protect themselves and their businesses.
In Mother Courage, the saving of a business preempts all else. Mother Courage places all of her focus on completing sales and staying afloat, even to the point where she is neglectful of her children. Brecht's intention is not to portray her as a bad parent but rather a desperate parent. After the death of her son Elif, Mother Courage denies their relationship in order to save herself; she loses each of her children to the war, and at the time of each of their deaths, she is away on business.
Mother Courage's foray into a capitalistic mindset drives her every move. At the beginning of the story, she encourages her customers to buy from her, but as she follows the soldiers, her songs transform into war cries. Sadly, she realizes that the continuance of war is what she needs to feed herself. Without the battles, death, and destruction, she is unemployed.
In all of this, Mother Courage resembles the capitalistic machine. Brecht illustrates the cold, disengaged, emotionless, immoral aspects of the machine in the worst possible light. We might dislike Mother Courage for what she becomes, but we also come to understand the feelings and fears that drive her actions.