Mother Courage

by: Bertolt Brecht

Scenes Four and Five

This scene is above all dependent, however, on Kattrin, who, through mime, reveals her increasing rage at her mother's inhumanity. The scene insists on the intelligent, willful nature of Kattrin's character. She is not prey to dumb animal instincts, and though she is ostensibly the most helpless creature in the play, she consciously decides to intervene. At the same time, there is something sinister in her self-sacrificing rescue of the baby. Brecht notes in the Model Book that if her mother's spoil is the fur coat, hers is the baby. Indeed, she almost plays the thief in her rescue of the baby, running out of the farmhouse with the child above her head. She coddles and comforts it, apparently ready to take it from its mother. Moreover, it appears she has done this before. One wonders if she stages revenge against Mother Courage, violently supplanting the "bad mother" by playing the good one herself.