Mother Courage and Her Children

Mother Courage and Her Children Summary and Analysis of Scene Ten

The scene heading announces that during the year 1635, Mother Courage and Kattrin travel over the high roads of central Germany. As they pull the cart, they pass a peasant's house, out of which a voice sings a song with two short verses. The first describes a garden with roses in it. The voice rather smugly talks of how happy are people with gardens because they can see the lovely flowers. The second describes the coldness of winter before concluding that those with a thatched roof are happy since they have shelter from the cold. Mother Courage and Kattrin pause to listen and then pull the cart off.


As in Scene Five, this scene serves more as a parable than as a direct part of the plot. "The Song of Home" was sung in Brecht's original production with "unfeeling, provocative self-assurance. The arrogant pride of possession expressed in the singing turned the listeners on the road into damned souls." It is a momentary, almost grotesque glimpse (which might be compared to that of the General in Scene Two) of life on the other side-this is the attitude of the people who, despite the war, are above the bread line. The audience may be repulsed to hear these words while seeing the poverty personified in Courage and Kattrin. Yet, it is significant that Mother Courage and Kattrin say absolutely nothing. What is going through their minds is left to the imagination. Peter Thomson makes the fascinating observation that "one [or both?] of them is surely thinking of an inn in Utrecht" (See Plays in Production: Mother Courage and her Children.)