Bertolt Brecht: Der gute Mensch von Sezuan [The Good Person of Sezuan]

(2468 words)
  • Alfred D. White (University of Wales, Cardiff)

This drama has an element of fantasy, which lightens the burden of its dark view of society, and shows the text as play, as artifice, demanding a willing suspension of disbelief on the part of its audience. Distancing from surface reality is implied by the appearance of three gods on a pink cloud, and by the mask used by the heroine to turn herself into her imaginary male cousin. The game-like features, the naïve portrayal of the social and economic situation and the schematic configuration conceal complex appreciation of human realities. The language is warmer and more lyrical than in previous plays.

After a sketch of 1930, Brecht wrote the play, with Margarete Steffin and Ruth Berlau, in 1939 and 1940. The first performance w…

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White, Alfred D.. "Der gute Mensch von Sezuan". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 17 February 2005
[, accessed 26 September 2016.]