Review: The Good Person of Szechwan

Review: The Good Person of SzechwanThe Good Person Of Szechwan by Bertolt Brecht, John Willett, Ralph Manheim
Published by Bloomsbury Methuen Drama on July 1st 2003
Genres: Classics
Pages: 160
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought

Brecht's famous parable, written in exile in 1939-41, shows that in an unjust society good can only survive by means of evil. In it, the gods come to earth in search of enough good people to justify their existence. They find Shen Teh, a good-hearted but penniless prostitute, and make her a gift that enables her to set up her own business. But her goodness brings ruin and she must disguise herself as a man in order to muster sufficient ruthlessness to survive.
Published in Methuen Drama's Modern Classics series, this edition features an introduction and extensive notes and textual variants.

He who gives help to the lost is lost for his own part.

Such great lines in the play.

“Your original order, to be good while yet surviving, split me like lightning into two people.I cannot tell what occured: Goodness to others and to myself could not both be achieved.”

The play was extremely depressing in the beginning but gradually it grew on me. The drudgery of society and it’s people is portrayed brilliantly. A “good” woman who is forced to survive through any means necessary.Shen Teh’s growth as an individual was interesting to watch. Of course if you want a happy ending, you should keep in mind it is a modernist play. Otherwise it is a short and interesting read.