From a German War Primer Summary Notes

From a German War Primer Author

Bertolt Brecht was one of the most influential playwrights of the 20th century. He was born in Augsburg, Bavaria, in 1898. The two world wars directly affected his life and works. There was no romanticism about the wars, as he was a witness to its horrors. This was also one of the reasons why he remained a Marxist, all his life. He wrote poetry when he was a student, but studied medicine, at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich.

After military service during World War I, he abandoned his medical studies, to pursue writing and theatre. The Epic Theatre that he designed is characterized by the alienation effect, where the audience is detached from the performance. For Brecht, “the pessimism was strategic, designed to engender hope, not for foreseeable victories or reversals of fortune, but for the survival of the species as such. ” He felt that this would facilitate a critical engagement with the play.

From a German War Primer Summary

The given poem ‘From A German War Primer’ is by Eugen Berthold Friedrich Brecht (1898-1956). He was one of the most influential playwrights of the 20th Century. ‘From A German War Primer’ states the problems in authoritarian governance which lead to war / war-like situations. It clearly delineates the social classes – the bourgeoisie (the middle class) and the ruling class. It addresses the injustice of the social hierarchy that privileges the ruling class and the upper class. Embedded in this criticism is also a hint that these injustices are repeated over the ages. Though the poem seems to be pessimistic in its portrayal of reality, it also points to alternatives that are possible. This apparently is the feature of many of his works. As his close associate waiter Benjamin notes, his attitude is “It can happen this way, but it can also happen quite a different way”.
AMONGST THE HIGHLY PLACED
It is considered low to talk about food.
The feet is: they have
Already eaten.

The lowly must leave this earth
Without having tasted
Any good meat.
For wondering where they come from and
Where they are going
The fine evenings
find them Too exhausted.

They have not yet seen
The mountains and the great sea
When their time is already up.

If the lowly do not
Think about what’s low
They will never rise.
In the poem, the poet speaker highlights the differences between the middle-class society and the ruling class society. He writes that among the highly placed people it is degrading to talk about food. The irony is that the higher-class people already had their food.

But in the case of the poor people, they have to be satisfied eating simple and frugal food and die without ever having tasted good food they are unable to afford to eat good food.

The highly placed people spend their time socializing in elite chibs in the evenings, eating Mid drinking. They wonder among themselves where the poor people come from and go to. These discussions leave them exhausted and they can’t enjoy the fine evenings. Even the poor people can’t enjoy the fine evenings because they are too exhausted, having toiled all day long.

The poor people are not fortunate, unlike their rich counterparts. They cannot take a vacation, they can’t go on a holiday trekking in the mountains nor spend their time on the warm beach beside the sea. They spend all their time earning a living and die before enjoying their life.

The poet thinks that if the poor people do not realize why they are poor, they will not recognize the causes of their poverty they will not rise in their life.
THE BREAD OF THE HUNGRY
HAS ALL BEEN EATEN
Meat has become unknown.-Useless
The pouring out of the people’s sweat.
The laurel groves have been
Lopped down.
From the chimneys of the arms factories
Rises smoke.
THE HOUSE-PAINTER SPEAKS OF GREAT TIMES TO COME
The forests still grow.
The fields still bear
The cities still stand.
The people still breathe.

ON THE CALENDAR THE DAY IS NOT -YET SHOWN
Every month, every day
Lies open still. One of those days
Is going to be marked with a cross.

THE WORKERS CRY OUT FOR BREAD
The merchants cry out for markets.
The unemployed were hungry. The employed
Are hungry now.
The hands that lay folded are busy again.
They are making shells.

THOSE WHO TAKE THE MEAT FROM THE TABLE
Teach contentment.
Those for whom the contribution is
destined
Demand sacrifice.
Those who eat their fill speak to the hungry
Of wonderful times to come.
Those who lead the country into the abyss
Call ruling too difficult
For ordinary men.
Before the First World War Germany was embroiled in civil Wars. The country was impoverished. There was a scarcity of food. The meat had become unknown. People could not afford to eat meat. The hard – labor (The pouring out of the people’s sweat) had become useless. Even if they toiled day and night they could not afford even a square meal a day or. food was unavailable or unaffordable due to scarcity or high -cost. The ‘Laurel groves’- forests were cut down and used to produce arms and weapons in factories from which smoke rose from the chimneys.

The ‘House painter’ assured the Germans of a great future. Here the poet refers to Hitler as ‘House – painter’. In his early adulthood, Hitler worked as a casual labourer painting houses. He aspired to become an artist but later joined the army and was inducted into the Nazi Party where he rose to become the dictator of Germany. The days and years go on unnoticed (on the calendar the day is not shown). But one of those days is going to be marked by a cross. Maybe the poet is referring to the day when Germany will join world war -1 or maybe the ‘Cross’ on the grave of dead German soldiers who lose their lives in wars.
WHEN THE LEADERS SPEAK OF PEACE
The common folk know
That war is coming.
When the leaders curse war
The mobilization order is already written out.

THOSE AT THE TOP SAY: PEACE AND WAR
Are of different substance.
But their peace and their war
Are like wind and storm.
War grows from their peace
Like son from his mother
He bears
Her frightful features.
Their war kills
Whatever their peace
Has left over.

ON THE WALL WAS CHALKED:
They want war.
The man who wrote it
Has already fallen.

THOSE AT THE TOP SAY:
This way to glory.
Those down below say:
This way to the grave.
The Poet criticizes the German authorities. They are constantly in war with other countries trying to assert their supremacy to” world. They speak of contentment to the poor German people who are starving due scarcity of food and joblessness. They deman’ :e German citizens to sacrifice everything for the sake of their county. They eat to their heart’s content, while the poor German people stay hungry, yet the authorities talk about ‘wonderful times to come’. The German leaders were leading the country to ruin.

When these leaders declare peace, common people can ascertain that they are preparing for war. It was rather difficult to judge when
purebi.

Germany was at peace and when it was at war.‘Peace and war were like wind and storm’. War grows frorii their peace. ‘Their war kills, whatever their peace / Has left over ’. The German people were either killed during wars or lose their life during peace, due to starvation and lack of livelihood.

The German authorities tried to push wars as the way to the glory of Germany. But the people felt that these wars lead them to their graves,

THE WAR WHICH IS COMING
Is not the first one. There were
Other wars before it.
When the last one came to an end
There were conquerors and conquered.
Among the conquered the common people
Starved. Among the conquerors
The common people starved too.

THOSE AT THE TOP SAY COMRADESHIP
Reigns in the army.
The truth of this is seen
In the cookhouse.
In their hearts should be
The selfsame courage. But
On their plates
Are two kinds of rations.

WHEN IT COMES TO MARCHING MANY
DO NOT
KNOW
That their enemy is marching at their head.
The voice which gives them their orders Is their enemy’s voice and The man who speaks of the enemy Is the enemy himself.

IT IS NIGHT
The married couples
Lie in their beds. The young women
Will bear orphans
Germany was not at war for the first time. It was involved in many wars before the first world war. Many a time Germany conquered other nations and sometimes it was defeated and conquered. It did not matter if Germany was victorious or defeated, was conquered or was the conqueror, the common people starved, whatever was the consequences of the wars.

The German authorities declared that in the army every soldier was treated like a comrade. The army was an epitome of comradeship but in reality, the Generals and soldiers were not treated as equals. If one wanted to know the truth they only had to visit the army canteen where the ordinary soldiers were served ordinary food while the German generals ate a sumptuous meal. There was inequality even in the army.

The soldiers in the army were gullible men. They had been brainwashed into participating in wars that had no benefit for them or their country. They did not realize that the wars were fought to satisfy the egos of the authorities. They were mere pawns at the hands of the Generals. They did not realize that their own leaders were their real enemies and not the people of the nation they were marching against. They did not realize that those leaders who commanded them to march against the enemy were their real u enemies and leaders who talked about the enemies of their nation were their real enemies.

At night the married German couples lay happily in their beds. That young wife’s are not aware that their husbands will be called to march against the enemy at anytime. They may also be killed in someone else’s war. They did not realize that they will bear orphans because their husbands would get killed in the wars.
GENERAL, YOUR TANK IS A POWERFUL
VEHICLE
It smashes down forests and crushes a hundred men.
But it has one defect:
It needs a driver.
General, your bomber is powerful.
It flies fester than a storm and carries more than an elephant.
But it has one defect:
It needs a mechanic.
General, man is very useful.
He can fly and he can kill.
But he has one defect:
He can think
In these lines Brecht turns his attention towards the Generals of the army. He addresses all the high-ranking officers of the army, who command the soldiers and plot war strategies. The poet tells the Generals that though their tanks are powerful vehicles which smash down forests and crush hundreds of soldiers, they have one defect they need a driver. They are useless unless they can be driven by a human-being.

Again the poet tells the general that his bomber (Air plane) is a very powerful machine. It can fly at a faster speed than a stormy wind and carry heavier load than an elephant easily. However, It is useless unless a mechanic (Human – being or a worker from the lower strata of the society) can be found to make it ready to fly. That is the only defect it days.

Here, Brecht tells the General that he should not underestimate the talents of the common – man (an ordinary working class man) this Common -man do many useful in wars. But this common-man also has a defect that is ‘he can think’.

Brecht is warning the Generals or the higher authorities that man’s ability to think to analyze make them also powerful. They have the ability to think, rather than to mindlessly follow instructions and because of this; they may not turn out to be as reliable as they think. Brecht is warning them of the human capability ofthought. Brecht assumes that the ability to think wil make man refuse to obey henious commands from the authorities who ask them to kill other men in the name of war. Once a man realizes the futility of war and all its disastrous consequences, he will definitely refuse to take part in war. The common man will ultimately realize that they are not fighting their own wars but they are fighting the wars for the selfish motives of the army generals. Hence the poem suggests that it is better to put an end to wars.

From a German War Primer Glossary

exile                        : state ofbeing barred from one’s country, for political or other reasons
anecdotes               : short or interesting stories, about events or persons
Social Democracy   : socialist system of government realized through democratic methods
Fascism                   : radical, authoritarian, dictatorial power
veritable                 : quality that emphasizes size, amount or nature of something as real/absolute
primer                    : An introductory text on any subject, particularly, basic concepts
lowly                      : low in rank or social importance
laurel                     : to achieve honor, distinction and fame
lopped                  : cut
contentment         : the state or degree of being contended or satisfied in one’s own situation
comradeship        : the company or friendship of others, or sharing a goal.
reigns                   : the exercise of sovereign power.
defect                   : flaw, inperfection

From a German War Primer Questions & Answers

Guided Reading

Question 1.

  1. “. . . they have already eaten” indicates that:
  2. they are rich and so, are well fed
  3. it is past meal time
  4. there is little food left for others to eat
  5. there exists an inequality

Answer:
5. there exists an inequality

Question 2.
Why does the poet say that the poor people have to leave without eating good meat?
Answer:
Due to constant wars with other countries, Germany was impoverished, people were jobless, even if they had jobs they were paid a paltry salary. The authorities were insensitive to the plight of the citizens. They were always engaged in satisfying their eges through wars. While they lolled in riches, the common man was left to find for himself. They could not afford to boymeat (food) as it was scare, even if it was available they would not afford the bug food because of high – cost. Even food had to be bought in black market. There was total inequality in the German wartime society.

Question 3.
Why does the poet repeat the word “still” in Stanza 8? What effect does it create?
Answer:
Here the poet refers to Hitler as a ‘house – painter ’ because in his early yearn, Hitler was a casual labourer and worked as a house painter. Later he joined the Nazi party and rose to be the dictator of Germany. He tried to convince the common man that he would bring glory and prosperity (great times) to Germany. He tried to achieve this through wars. Brecht was of the opinion that he would eventually destroy Germany so he ironically says that the forests still grow, the fields still bear, the cities still stand, the people still breate.

Question 4.
Explain the line‘The employed are hungry now’.
Answer:
Germany was always involved in wars. Wars had left it impoverished. This war mongering had left them alienated from the rest of the world. The economic was in shambles. Many countries had issued a trade embarago on Germany. People were jobless be¬cause most of the industries had closed down. Some fortunate Germans found employment, but in the factories that manufactured shells (weapons). They were paid meager wages: They could not offered to have even a square meal a day. Food was scarce, even if it was available, it was unaffordable because of high cost. Hence the poet says that though people were employed they still had to go hungry.

Question 5.
What does the teaching tell you about the people who teach?
Answer:
The teaching of the teachers tells that they are selfish and inhuman. Instead of looking after the welfare of the people, they are engaged in wars to satisfy their ego. Their wars have left the country impoverished. People are jobless and are starving. In such a situation they teach the people of contentment and demand that the people of the nation sacrifice their lives for them

Question 6.
What do you understand of the common folk?
Answer:
The Commonfolk know that war is coming when their leaders speak of peace and when the leaders curse war, the mobilization order to be battle-ready is already written out.

Question 7.
What is the different effect that war has on people? And what does that tell you about war?
Answer:
War had left the people jobless and people were starving. Hun-dreds were killed in the war.

Question 8.
” . . . their enemy is marching at their head” refers to _______________.
Answer:
The common – folk had been brain-washed and led into a war that was not actually theirs. They were not really fighting their own enemy. They did not realize that their own leaders, who had led them to the war were their real enemies. The leaders order the soldiers to march and fight their so called enemy, but in reality the leaders are themselves enemies because they wage wars to statisfy their egos and push thousands of innocent people to death.

Question 9.
In Stanza 8, how does the poet describe the changes made by war?
Answer:
Germany Was always involved in wars. Wars had left it this war-mongering had left them alienated from the rest of the world. The economy was in shambles. Many countries had issued a trade embarago on Germany. People were jobless because most of the industries had closed down. Some fortunate Germans found employment, but in the factories that manufactured shells (weapons). They were paid wages. They could not offerd to have even a square meal a day. Food was scarce, even if it was available, it was unaffordable because of high cost. Hence the poet says that though people were employed they still had to go hungry.

Question 10.
What is the defect In the powerful tank the General has?
Answer:
The powerful tank needs a driver to drive it to war.

Question 11.
What is the defect in the bomber?
Answer:
The bomber’s only defect is that it needs a Mechanic (Pilot) to make it fly otherwise it is useless.

Question 12.
Is thinking a‘defect’?
Answer:
According to the poet, thinking is a ‘defect’. Brecht assumes that the ability to think will make man refuse to obey heinous commands from the authorities who ask the soldiers to kill other men in the name of war. Once man realizes the futility of war and all its disastrous consequence refuse to take part in wars.

Question 13.
Elucidate the characteristics of the ‘highly placed’ and ‘lowly’people.
Answer:
In the poem, the poet speaker highlights the differences be¬tween the middle-class society and the ruling class society. He writes that among the highly placed people it is degrading to talk about food. The irony is that the higher-class people already had their food. But in the case of the poor people, they have to be satisfied eating simple and frugal food and die without ever having tasted good food they are unable to afford to eat good food.

The highly placed people spend their time socializing in elite chibs in the evenings, eating and drinking. They wonder among themselves where the poor people come from and go to. These discussions leave them exhausted and they can’t enjoy the fine evenings. Even the poor people can’t enjoy the fine evenings because they are too exhausted, having toiled all day long.

The poor people are not fortunate, unlike their rich counterparts. They cannot take a vacation, they can’t go on a holiday trekking in the mountains nor spend their time on the warm beach beside the sea. They spend all their time earning a living and die before enjoying their life.

The poet thinks that if the poor people do not realize why they are poor, they will not recognize the causes of their poverty they will not rise in their life.

Question 14.
What picture of the ‘leader’ do you perceive in the poem?
Answer:
The ‘ leader ’ is selfish and egoistic. He is a Megalomaniac. To assert his supremacy to the world, he is constantly at war with other countries.
The Poet criticizes the German authorities. They are constantly in war with other countries tr}ing to assert their supremacy to the world. They speak of contentment to the poor German people who are starving due scarcity of food and joblessness. They demand the German citizens to sacrifice everything for the sake of their country. They eat to their heart’s content, while the poor German people stay hungry, yet the authorities talk about ‘wonderful times to come. The German leaders were leading the country to min.

When these leaders declare peace, common people can ascertain that they are preparing for war. It was rather difficult to judge when Germany was at peace arid when it was at war. ‘Peace and war were like wind and storm’. War grows from their peace. ‘Their war kills, whatever their peace / Has left over’. The German people were either killed during wars or lose their life during peace, due to starvation and lack of livelihood.

Question 15.
Comment on the contrast between man and machine as found in the last few stanzas
Answer:
Brecht turns his attention towards the Generals of the army. He addresses all the high-ranking officers of the army, who command the soldiers and plot war strategies. The poet tells the Generals that though their tanks are powerful vehicles that smash down forests and crash hundreds of soldiers, they have one defect they need a driver. They are useless unless they can be driven by a human – being.

Again the poet tells the general that his bomber (Airplane) is a very powerful machine. It can fly at a faster speed than a stormy wind and carry heavier load than an elephant easily. However, it is useless unless a mechanic (Human – being or a worker from the lower strata of the society) can be found to make it ready to fly. That is the only defect it days.

Here, Brecht tells the General that he should not underestimate the talents of the common – man (an ordinary working-class man). This Common-man can do many useful things in wars. But this common man also has a defect that is ‘he can think’.

Brecht is warning the Generals or the higher authorities that man’s ability to think to analyze, makes them also powerful. They have the ability to think, rather than to mindlessly follow instructions and because of this; they may not turn out to be as reliable as they think. Brecht is warning them of the human capability of thought.

Brecht assumes that the ability to think will make man refuse to obey henious commands from the authorities who ask them to kill other men in the name of war. Once a man realizes the futility of war and all its disastrous consequences, he will definitely refuse to take part in war. The common man will ultimately realize that they are not fighting their own wars but they are fighting the wars for the selfish motives of the army generals. Hence the poem suggests that it is better to put an end to wars.

Question 16.
How is the word ‘defect’ used in the last line of the poem?
Can you explain why the speaker uses the word?
Answer:
Brecht tells the General that he should not underestimate the talents of the common – man (an ordinary working class man) this Common -man can do many useful things in wars. But this com¬mon-man also has a defect that is ‘he can think’. Brecht is wamingthe Generals or the higher authorities that man’s ability to think to analyze make them also powerful. They have the ability to think, rather than to mindlessly follow instructions and because of this; they may not turn out to be as reliable as they think. Brecht is warning them of the human capability of thought.

Brecht assumes that the ability to think will make man refuse to obey henious commands from the authorities who ask them to kill other men in the name of war. Once a man realizes the futility of war and all its disastrous consequences, he will definitely refuse to take part in war. The common man will ultimately realize that they are not fighting their own wars but they are fighting the wars for the selfish motives of the army generals. Hence the poem suggests that it is better to put an end to wars.

Question 17.
Comment on the images of poverty as shown in the poem.
Answer:
Before the First World War Germany was embroiled in civil wars. The country was impoverished. There was scarcity of food. Meat had become unknown. People could not afford to eat meat. The hard – labour (The pouring out of the people’s sweat) had become useless. Even if they toiled day and night they could not afford even a square meal a day or food was unavailable or unaffordable due to scarcity or high – cost.

The ‘leader’is a selfish and egoistic. He is aMagalomanic. To assert his supremary to the world, he is constantly at was with other contries.

The Poet criticizes the German authorities. They are constantly in war with other countries trying to assert their supremacy to the world. They speak of contentment to the poor German people who are starving due scarcity of food and joblessness. They demand the German citizens to sacrifice everything for the sake of their country. They eat to their heart’s content, while the poor German people stay hungry, yet the authorities talk about ‘wonderful times to come’. The German leaders were leading the country to ruin.

When these leaders declare peace, common people can ascertain that they are preparing for war. It was rather difficult to judge when Germany was at peace and when it was at war.‘Peace and war were like wind and storm’. War grows from their peace. ‘Their war kills, whatever their peace /Has left over’. The German people were either killed during wars or lose their life during peace, due to starvation and lack of livelihood.

Question 18.
How does the poet give the picture of class divide between the rulers and the ruled in the poem?
Answer:
In the poem the poet speaker highlights the differences be¬tween the middle – class society and the ruling class society. He writes that among the highly placed people it is degrading to talk about food. The irony is that the higher class people already had their food.

But in the case of the poor people, they have to be satisfied eating simple and frugal food and die without ever having tasted good food they are unable to afford to eat good food.

The highly placed people spend their time socializing in elite clubs in the evenings, eating and drinking. They wonder among themselves where the poor people come from and go to. These discussions leave them exhausted and they can’t enjoy the fine evenings. Even the poor people can’t enjoy the fine evenings because they are too exhausted, having toiled all day long.

The poor people are not fortunate, unlike their rich counterparts. They cannot take a vacation, they can’t go on a holiday trekking in the mountains nor spend their time on the wann beach beside the sea. They spend all their time earning a living and dic before enjoying their life.

The poet thinks that if the poor people do not realize why they are poor, they will not recognize the causes of their poverty they will not, rise in their lifè.

The German authoritics declared that in the army every soldier was treated as a comrade. The army was an epitome of comrade ship but in reality the Generals and soldiers were not treated a equals. ifone wanted to know the truth they only had to visit the army canteen where the ordinary soldiers were served ordinary food while the German generals ate a sumptuous meal. There was inequality even in the army.

Question 19.
The poem consistently refers to the repetition of situations of war. What idea of history, does this present to the reader? Discuss.
Answer:
‘From A German war Primer’ is a simple poem ami the meaning that it conve is simple yet profound and it does with a directress which is both touching and thought provoking. The poem intro-duces the reader to a tme in History when the whole world was on the verge of war. This period of human history is known as interwar period became it occured between first world war (1914-1918) and the second world war (1939-1945). The First world war caused more loss of human fives and more damage to property then any war before its time. This period saw the rise of authoritarian governments in Europe.

‘From the German War Primer’ portrays the different effect of war on people. It dafines the characteristics of highly placed and lowly people the leaders are portrayed in a very different pictave. It demons tracks the glaring division in the society, between the rulers and the common man. The entire poem consciously reflects the situation of wars and effect on a nation and its people. But it also suggests the futility war. In the end the poet is optimistic that man will realize his folly and eschew wars.

The given poem ‘From A German War Primer’ is by Eugen Berthold Friedrich Brecht (1898-1956). He was one of the most influential playwrights of the 20th Centrury .‘From AGerman War Primer’ states the problems in authoritarian governance which leads to war / war like situations. It clearly delineates the social classes – the bourgeoisie (the middle class) and the ruling class. It addresses the injustice of the social hierarchy that privileges the ruling class and the upper class. Embedded in this criticism is also a hint that these injustices are repeated over the ages. Though the poem seems to be pessimistic in its portrayal of reality, it also points to alternatives that are possible. This apparently is the feature of many ofhis works. As his close associate Walter Benjamin notes, his attitude is “It can happen this way, but it can also happen quite a different way”.

In the poem the poet speaker highlights the differences between the middle – class society and the ruling class society. He writes that among the highly placed people it is degrading to talk about food. The irony is that the higher class people already had their food. But in the case of the poor people, they have to be satisfied eating simple and frugal food and die without ever having tasted good food they are unable to afford to eat good food.

The highly placed people spend their time socializing in elite clubs in the evenings, eating and drinking. They wonder among themselves where the poor people come from and go to. These discussions leave than exhausted and they can’t enjoy the fine evenings. Even the poor people can’t enjoy the fine evenings because they are too exhausted, having toiledafldaylong.

The poor people are not fortunate, unlike their rich counterparts. They cannot take a vacation, they can’t go on a holiday trekking in the mountains nor spend their time on the warmbeach beside the sea. Theyspend alltheir time earning a living and die before enjoying theirfife.
are poor, they will not recognize the causes of their poverty they will not rfee in their life.

Before the First World War Germany was embroiled in civil wars. The country was impoverished. Therewas scarcity of food. Meat had become unknown. People could not afford to eat meat. The hard – labour (Thepouring out of the people’s sweat) had become useless. Even if they toiled day and night they could not afford even a square meal a day or food was unavailable or unaffordable due to scarcity or high – cost.

The ‘Laurel groves’- forests were cut down and used to produce arms and weapons in factories from which smoke rose from the chimneys. The ‘House painter’ assured the Germans of a great future.- Here the poet refers to Hitler as ‘House – painter ’. In his early adulthood, Hitler worked as a causual labourer painting houses. He aspired to become an artist but later joined the army and was inducted into the Nazi Party where he rose to become the dictator of Germany.

The days and years go on unnoticed (on the calendar the day is not shown). But the one of those days is going to be marked by a cross. Maybe the poet is referring to the day when Germany will join the world war -1 or paybe the ‘Cross’ on the grave of dead German soldiers who lose their life in wars.

The Poet criticizes the German authorities. They are constantly in war with other countries trying to assert their supremacy to the world. They speak of contentment to the poor German people who are starving due scarcity of food and joblessness. They demand the German citizens to sacrifice everything for the sake of their country.

They eat tp their heart’s cpntent, while the poor German people stay hungry, yet the authorities talk about ‘wonderful times to come’. The German leaders werp leading the country to ruin.

When these leaders declare peace, common people can ascertain that they are preparing for war. It was rather difficult to judge when Germany was at peace and when it was at war.‘Peace and war were like wind and storm’. War grows from their peace. ‘Their war kills, whatever their peace / Has left over ’. The German people were either killed during wars or lose their life during peace, due to starvation and lack of livelihood.

The German authorities tried to push wars as the way to the glory of Germany. But the people felt that these wars lead them to their graves.
Germany was not at war for the first time. It was involved in many wars before the first world war. Many a time Germany conquered other nations and some times it was defeated and conquered. It did not matter if Germany was victorious or defeated, wasconquered or was the conqueror, the common people starved, whatever was the consequences of the wars.

The German authorities declared that in the army every soldier was treated as a comrade. The army was an epitome of comradeship but in reality the Generals and soldiers were not treated as equals. If one wanted to know the truth they only had to visit the army canteen where the ordinary soldiers were served ordinary food while the German generals ate a sumptuous meal. There was inequality even in the army.

The soldiers in the army were gullible men.,They had been brain-washed into participating in wars which had no benefit for them or their country. They did not realize, that the wars were fought to satisfy the egos of the authorities. They were mere pawns at the hands of the Generals. They did not realize that their own leaders were their real enemies and not the people of the nation they were marching against. They did not realize that those leaders who commanded them to march against the enemy were their real enemies and leaders who talked about the enemies of their nation were their real enemies.

At night the married German couples lay happily in their beds. That young wife’s are not aware that their husbands will be called to march against the enemy at anytime. They may also be killed in someone else’s war. They did not realize that they will bear orphans because their husbands would get killed in the wars.
In these lines Brecht turns his attention towards the Generals of the army. He addresses all the high – ranking officers of the army, who command the soldiers and plot war strategies. The poet tells the Generals that though their tanks are powerful vehicles which smash down forests and crush hundreds of soldiers, they have one defect they need a driver. They are useless unless they can be driven by a human-being.

Again the poet tells the general that his bomber (Air plane) is a very powerful machine. It can fly at a faster speed than a stormy wind and carry heavier load than an elephant easily. However, it, is useless unless a mechanic (Human – being or a worker from the lower strata of the society) can be found to make it ready to fly That is the only defect it days.

Here, Brecht tells the General that he should not underestimate the talents of the common – man (an ordinary working class man) this Common -man do many useful in wars. But this common-man also has a defect that is ‘he can think’.

Brecht is warning the Generals or the higher authorities that man’s ability to think to analyze make them also powerful. They have the ability to think, rather than to mindlessly follow instructions and because of this; they may not turn out to be as reliable as they think. Brecht is warning them of the human capability of thought.

Brecht assumes that the ability to think will make man refuse to obey henious commands from the authorities who ask them to kill other men in the name of war. Once anan realizes the futility of war and all its disastrous consequences, he will definitely refuse to take part in war. The common man will ultimately realize that that not fighting their own wars but they are fighting the wars for the selfish motives of the army generals. Hence the poem suggests it it is better to put an end to wars.

Question 20.
Do you agree that the poem ends on a positive note? Substantiate.
Answer:
‘From AGerman war Primer’ is a simple poem and the mean¬ing that it conveys is streple yet profound and it does with a directress which is both touching and thought provoking. The poem duces the reader to a tme in History when the whole world was on the verge of war. This period of human history is known as interwar period became it occured between first world war (1914-1918) and the second world war (1939-1945). The First world war caused more loss of human fives and more damage to property then any war before its time. This period saw the rise of authoritar¬ian governments in Europe.

‘From the German War Primer’ portrays the different effect of war on people. It dafines the characteristics of highly placed and lowly people the leaders are portrayed in a very different Picture. It demons tracks the glaring division in the society, between the rulers and the common man. The entire poem consciously reflects the of wars and effect on a nation and its people. But it also suggests the futility war. In the end the poet is optimistic that man will realize his folly and eschew wars.

The given poem ‘From A German War Primer’ is by Eugen Beffhold Friedrich Brecht (1898-1956). He was one of the most influential playwrights of the 20th Centrury. ‘From A German War Primer’ states the problems in authoritarian governance which leads to war / war like situations. It clearly delineates the social classes – the bourgeoisie (the middle class) and the ruling class. It addresses the injustice of the social hierarchy that privileges the ruling class and the upper class. Embedded in this criticism is also a hint that these injustices are repeated over the ages. Though the poeni seems to be pessimistic in its portrayal of reality, it also points to alternatives that are possible. This apparently is the feature ofmanyofhis works.

As his close associate waiter Benjamin notes, his attitude is “It can happen this way, but it can also happen quite a different way”.
In the poem the poet speaker highlights the differences between the middle – class society and the ruling class society. He writes that among the highly placed people it is degrading to talk about food. The irony is that the higher class people already had their food.

But in the case of the poor people, they, have to be satisfied eating simple and frugal food and die without ever having tasted good food they are unable to afford to eat good food.

The highly placed people spend their time socializing in elite chibs in the evenings, eating and drinking. They wonder among themselves where the poor people come from and go to. These discussions leave them exhausted and they can’t enjoy the fine evenings. Even the poor people can’t enjoy the fine evenings because they are too exhausted, having toiled all day long.

The poor people are not fortunate, unlike their rich counterparts. They Cannot take a vacation, they can’t go on a holiday trekking in the mountains nor spend their time on the warm beach beside the sea. They spend all their time earning a living and die before enjoying their life.

The poet thinks that if the poor people do not realize why they . v are poor, they will not recognize the causes of their poverty they will not rise in their life. Before the First World War Germany was embroiled in civil wars. The country was impoverished. There was scarcity of food. Meat had become unknown. People could not afford to eat meat. The hard – labour (The pouring out of the people’s sweat) had become useless. Even if they toiled day and night they could not afford even a square meal a day or food was unavailable or unaffordable due to scarcity or high – cost.

The ‘Laurel groves’- forests were cut down and used to produce arms and weapons in factories from which smoke rose from the chimneys.
The ‘House painter’ assured the Germans of a great future. Here the poet refers to Hitler as ‘House – painter’. In his early adulthood, Hitler worked as a causual labourer painting houses. He aspired to become an artist but later joined the army and was inducted into the Nazi Party where he rose to become the dictator of Germany.

The days and years go on unnoticed (on the calendar the day is not shown). But the one of those days is going to be marked by a cross. May be the poet is referring to the day when Germany will join the world war -1 or paybe the ‘Cross’ on the grave of dead German soldiers who lose their life inwars.
The Poet criticizes the German authorities. They are constantly in war with other countries trying to assert their supremacy to the world. They speak of contentment to the poor German people who are starving due scarcity of food and joblessness. Theydemand the Goman citizens to sacrifice everything for the sake of their countiy.

They eat to their heart’s content, while the poor German people stay hungry, yet the authorities talk about ‘wonderful times to come’ . The German leaders were leading the country to ruin.

When these leaders declare peace, common people can ascertain that they are preparing for war. It was rather difficult to judge when Germany was at peace and when it was at war.‘Peace and war were like wind and storm’. War grows from their peace. ‘Their war kills, whatever their peace / Has left over ’. The German people were either killed during wars or lose their life during peace, due to starvation and lack of livelihood.

The German authorities tried to push wars as the way to the glory of Germany. But the people felt that these wars lead them to their graves. . ,
Germany was not at war for the first time. It was involved, in many wars before the first world war. Many a time Germany conquered other nations and some times it was defeated and conquered. It did not matter if Germany was victorious or defeated, was conquered or was the conqueror, the common people starved, whatever was the consequences of the wars.

The German authorities declared that in the army every soldier was treated as a comrade. The army was an epitome of comradeship but in reality the Generals and soldiers were not treated as equals. If one wanted to know the truth they only had to visit the army canteen where the ordinary soldiers were served ordinary food while the German generals ate a sumptuous meal. There was inequality even in the army The soldiers in the army were gullible mem They had been brain-washed into participating in wars which had no benefit for them or their country.

They did not realize that the wars were fought to satisfy the egos of the authorities. They were mere pawns at the hands of the Generals. They did not realize that their own leaders were their real enemies and not the people of the nation they were marching against. They did not realize that those leaders who commanded them to march against the enemy were their real enemies and leaders who talked about the enemies of their nation were their real enemies.

At night the married German couples lay happily in their beds. That young wife’s are not aware that their husbands will be called to march against the enemy at anytime. They may also be killed in someone else’s war. They did not realize that they will bear orphans because their husbands would get killed in the wars.
In these lines Brecht turns his attention towards the Generals of the army. He addresses all the high – ranking officers of the army, who command the soldiers and plot war strategies. The poet tells the Generals that though their tanks are powerful vehicles which smash down forests and crush hundreds of soldiers, they have one defect they need a driver. They are useless unless they can be driven by a human-being.

Again the poet tells the general that his bomber (Air plane) is a very powerful machine. It can fly at a faster speed than a stormy wind and carry heavier load than an elephant easily. However, it is useless unless a mechanic (Human – being or a worker from the lower strata of the society) can be found to make it ready to fly. That is the only defect it days.

Here, Brecht tells the General that he should not underestimate the talents of the common – man (an ordinary working class man) this Common -man do many useful inars. But this common-man also has a defect that is‘he can think’.

Brecht is warning the Generals or the higher authorities that man’s ability to think to analyze make them also powerful. They have the ability to think, rather than to mindlessly follow instructions and because of this; they may not turn out to be as reliable as they think. Brecht is warning them of the human capability of thought.

Brecht assumes that the ability to think will make man refuse to obey henious commands from the authorities who ask them to kill other men in the name of war. Once a man realizes the futility of war and all its disastrous consequences, he will definitely refuse to take part in war. The common man will ultimately realize that they are not fighting their own wars but they are fighting the wars for the selfish motives of the army generals. Hence the poem suggests that it is better to put an end to wars.

Question 21.
What is Brecht trying to tell us about war? Can you discuss it as an anti-war poem?
Answer:
In the poem ‘From the German war Primer ’, Brecht has managed to capture a world turn apart by war and depression. It is a rich and faithful chronical of war and its effects. He speaks of the small – mindedness, lies posing as truth, to the narrowness, out – right violence disguised as defense. He comments on the totalitar¬ian play, comments, questions and derides the exponents ofdicta- torship. He criticizes the exploitation, oppression wars and imperi- ahsmofthefiircist leaders of Europe.

‘Froni A German war Primer ’ is a simple poem and the mean¬ing that it conveys is streple yet profound and it does with a directress which is both touching and thought provoking. The poem intro¬duces the reader to a tme in History when the whole world was on ^ the verge of war. This period of human history is known as interwar period became it occured between first world war (1914-1918) and the second world war (1939-1945). The First world war caused more loss of human lives and more damage to property then any war before its time. This period saw the rise of authoritar-ian governments in Europe.

‘From the German War Primer’ portrays the different effect of war on people. It dafines the characteristics of highly placed and lowly people the leaders are portrayed in a very different pictave. It demons tracks the glaring division in the society, between the rulers and the common man. The entire poem consciously reflects the sitation of wars and effect on a nation and its people. But it also suggests the futility war. In the end the poet is optimistic that man will realize his folly and eschew wars.

The given poem ‘From A German War Primer’ is by Eugen Berthold Friedrich Brecht (1898-1956). He was one ofthe most influential playwrights of the 20th Centrury .‘From AGerman War Primer’ states the problems in authoritarian governance which leads to war / war like situations. It clearly delineates the social classes – the bourgeoisie (the middle class) and the ruling class. It addresses the injustice of the social hierarchy that privileges the ruling class and the upper class. Embedded in this criticism is also a hint that these injustices are repeated over the ages. Though the poem seems to be pessimistic in its portrayal of reality, it also points to alternatives that are possible. This apparently is the feature of many ofhis works. As his close associate Walter Benjamin notes, his attitude is “It can happen this way, but it can also happen quite a different way”.

In the poem the poet speaker highlights the differences between the middle – class society and the ruling class society. He writes that among the highly placed people it is degrading to talk about food. The irony is that the higher class people already had their food. But in the case of the poor people, they have to be satisfied eating simple and frugal food and die without ever having tasted good food they are unable to afford to eat good food.

The highly placed people spend their time Socializing in elite chibs in the evenings, eating and drinking. They wonder among themselves where the poor people come from and go to. These discussions leave them exhausted and they can’t enjoy the fine evenings. Even the poor people can’t enjoy the fine evenings because they are too exhausted, having toiled all day long.

The poor people are not fortunate, unlike their rich counterparts. They cannot take a vacation, they can’t go on a holiday trekking in the mountains nor spend their time on the warm beach beside the sea. They spend all their time earning a living and die before enjoying their life.

The poet thinks that if the poor people do not realize why they are poor, they will not recognize the causes of their poverty they will not rise in their life.
Before the First World War Germany was embroiled in civil wars. The country was impoverished. There was scarcity of food. * Meat had become unknown. People could not afford to eat meat. The hard – labour (The pouring out of the people’s sweat) had become useless. Even if they toiled day and night they could not afford even a square meal a day or food was unavailable or unaffordable due to scarcity or high – cost.

The ‘Laurel groves’- forests were cut down and used to produce arms and weapons in factories from which smoke rose from the chimneys.
The ‘House painter’ assured the Germans of a great future. Here the poet refers to Hitler as ‘House – painter ’. In his early adulthood, Hitler worked as a causual labourer painting houses. He aspired to become an artist but later joined the army and was inducted into the Nazi Party where he rose to become the dictator of Germany.

The days and years go on unnoticed (on the calendar the day is not shown). But the one of thofe days is going to be marked by a cross. May be the poet is referring to the day when Germany will join the world war -1 or paybe the ‘Cross’ on the grave of dead German soldiers who lose their life in wars.

The Poet criticizes the German authorities. They are constantly in war with other countries trying to assert their supremacy to the world. They speak of contentment to the poor German people who are starving due scarcity of food and joblessness. They demand the German citizens to sacrifice everything for the sake of their country. They eat to their heart’s content, while the poor German people stay hungry, yet the authorities talk about ‘wonderful times to come’. The German leaders were leading the country to ruin.

When these leaders declare peace, common people can ascertain that they are preparing for war. It was rather difficult to judge when Germany was at peace and when it was at war.‘Peace and war were like wind and storm’. War grows from their peace. ‘Their war kills, whatever their peace / Has left over ’. The German people were either killed during wars or lose their life during peace, due to starvation and lack of livelihood.

The German authorities tried to push wars as the way to the glory of Germany. But the people felt that these wars lead them to their graves. Germany was not at war for the first time. It was involved in many wars before the first world war. Many a time Germany conquered other nations and some times it was defeated and conquered. It did not matter if Germany was victorious or defeated, was conquered or was the conqueror, the common people starved, whatever was the consequences of the wars.

The German authorities declared that in the army every soldier was treated as a comrade. The army was an epitome of comradeship but in reality the Generals and soldiers were not treated as equals. If one wanted to know the truth they only had to visit the army canteen where the ordinary soldiers were served ordinary food while the German generals ate a sumptuous meal There was inequality even in the army.

The soldiers in the army were gullible mea They had been brain-washed into participating in wars which had no benefit for them or their country. They did not realize that the wars were fought to satisfy the egos of the authorities. They were mere pawns at the hands of the Generals. They did not realize that their own leaders were their real enemies and not the people of the nation they were marching against. They did not realize that those leaders who commanded them to march against the enemy were their real enemies and leaders who talked about the enemies of their nation were their real enemies.

At night the married German couples lay happily in their beds. That young wife’s are not aware that their husbands will be called to march against the enemy at anytime. They may also be killed in someone else’s war. They did not realize that they will bear orphans because their husbands would get killed in the wars.

In these lines Brecht turns his attention towards the Generals of

the army. He addresses all the high – ranking officers of the army, who command the soldiers and plot war strategies. The poet tells the Generals that though their tanks are powerful vehicles which smash down forests and crush hundreds of soldiers, they have one defect they need a driver. They are useless unless they can be driven by a human – being!

Again the poet tells the general that his bomber (Air plane) is a very powerful machine. It can fly at a faster speed than a stormy wind and cany heavier load than an elephant easily. However, it is useless unless a mechanic (Human – being or a worker from the lower strata of the society) can be found to make it ready to fly. That is the only defect it days.

Here, Brecht tells the General that he should not underestimate the talents of the common – man (an ordinary working class man) this Common -man do many useful in wars. But this common-man also has a defect that is‘he can think’.

Brecht is warning the Generals or the higher authorities that man’s ability to think to analyze make them also powerful They have the ability to think, rather than to mindlessly follow instructions and because of this; they may not turn out to be as reliable as they think. Brecht is warning them of the human capability ofthought.

Brecht assumes that the ability to think will make man refuse to obey henious commands from the authorities who ask them to kill other men in the name ofwar. Once aman realizes the futility of war and all its disastrous consequences, he will definitely refuse to take part in war. The common man will ultimately realize that they are not fighting their own wars but they are fighting the wars for the selfish motives of the army generals. Hence the poem suggests that it is better to put an end to wars.

Question 22.
Examine the title of the poem.
Answer:
The title of Brecht’s poem is ‘From A German War Primer ’ a ‘Primer ’ is a book providing a basic introduction to a subject or usd for teaching reading. The poem is thus introdues the readers to the wars waged by Germany and to tench us disasterous effects of war. The poem portary the vivid images of war, its effect on the common – man and on the economy of Germany. It examples the selfishness and inhuman attitude of the authorities who lead the com¬mon to wars.

It showcauses the class disparity in German society constant was had improished the country and its economy was in shambles. There was scarcity fo food, joblessness threat of diseases, the authorities were alasys in preperation of war rather than looking after the weliare of the country. The natural wealth of Germany was being destroyed to wage wars. Hitler predicted a glorious fixture for Germany, but Germany was deflated and the country was destroyed and the common poeple were devastated millions of people lost their life’s in the war.

Hence the poem makes German was as an example or lessons or a subject to provide a basic understanding of the futility of wars. The poem leads to an awareness in the reader that man has the inherent capacityto think judiciously and sensibly, Man has the ability to think, to analyze what is good and what is bad. The poem makes us to understand the mindless death and destruction the comes along with wars.

Brecht assusses that the ability to think will make man refuse to obey the heineous commads of the authorities who ask them to kill other men in the name of war. Once a man realizes the futility of war and its disasterous consequences, he will definitely refuse to take part in wars. The common man will ultimately realize that they are hot fightiny their own war but they are fighting the wars four the selfish motives of the Army generals. The poem suggests that it is bettet to put an end to wars Hence the title ‘From a German war Primer’.

Question 23.
The poem discusses the futility of war. Do you agree?
Answer:
‘From AGerman war Primer ’ is a simple poem and the mean¬ing that it conveys is streple yet profound and it does with a directress which is both touching and thought provoking. The poem introduces the reader to a tme in History when the whole world was on the verge of war. This period of human history is known as interwar period became it occured between first world war (1914-1918) and the second world war (1939-1945). The First world war caused more loss of human lives and more damage to property then any war before its time. This period saw the rise of authoritarian governments in Europe.

‘From the German War Primer ’ portrays the different effect of war on people. It dafines the characteristics of highly placed and lowly people the leadersareportrayedinaverydifferentpictave.lt demons tracks the glaring division in the society, between the rulers and the common man. The entire poem consciously reflects the of wars and effect on a nation and its people. But it also suggests the futility war. In the end the poet is optimistic that man will realize his folly and eschew wars.

The given poem ‘From A German War PrimeC is by Eugen Berthold Friedrich Brecht (1898-1956). He was one of the most influential playwrights of the 20th Centrury ,‘From AGerman War Primer ’ states the problems in authoritarian governance which leads to war / war like situations. It clearly delineates the social classes – the bourgeoisie (the middle class) and the ruling class. It addresses the injustice of the social hierarchy that privileges the ruling class and the upper class. Embedded in this criticism is also a hint that these injustices are repeated over the ages. Though the poem seems to be pessimistic in its portrayal of reality, it also points to alternatives that are possible. This apparently is the feature of many ofhis works. As his close associate Walter Benjamin notes, his attitude is “It can happen this way, but it can also happen quite a different way”.

In the poem the poet speaker highlights the differences between the middle – class society and the ruling class society. He writes that among the highly placed people it is degrading to talk about food. The irony is that the higher class people already had then- food.

But in.the case of the poor people, they have to be satisfied eating simple and frugal food and die without ever having tasted good food they are unable to afford to eat good food. The highly placed people spend their time socializing in elite chibs in the evenings, eating and drinking. They wonder among themselves where the poor people come from and go to. These discussions leave them exhausted and they can’t enjoy the fine evenings. Even the poor people can’t enjoy the fine evenings because they are too exhausted, having toiled all day long.

The poor people are not fortunate, unlike their rich counterparts. They cannot take a vacation, they can’t go on a holiday trekking in the mountains nor spend their time on the warm beach beside the sea. They spend all their time earning a living and die before enjoying their life.

The poet thinks that if the poor people do not realize why they are poor, they will not recognize the causes of their poverty they will not rise in their life.

Before the First World War Germany was embroiled in civil wars. The country was impoverished. There was scarcity of food. Meat had become unknown. People could not afford to eat meat. The hard – labour (The pouring out of the people’s sweat) had become useless. Even if they toiled day and night they could not afford even a square meal a day or food was unavailable or unaffordable due to scarcity or high – cost.

The ‘Laurel groves’- forests were cut down and used to produce arms and weapons in factories from which smoke rose from the chimneys. The ‘House painter’ assured the Germans of a great future. Here the poet refers to Hitler as ‘House – painter’. In his early adulthood, Hitler worked as a causual labourer painting houses. He aspired to become an artist but later joined the army and was inducted into the Nazi Party where he rose to become the dictator of Germany. The days and years go on unnoticed (on the calendar the day is not shown). But the one of those days is going to be marked by a cross. May be the poet is referring to the day when Germany will join the world war -1 or paybe the ‘Cross’ on the grave of dead German soldiers who lose their life in wars.

The Poet criticizes the German authorities. They are constantly in war with other countries trying to assert their supremacy to the world. They speak of contentment to the poor German people who are starving due scarcity of food and joblessness. They demand the German citizens to sacrifice everything for the sake of their country. They eat to their heart’s content, while the poor German people stay hungry, yet the authorities talk about ‘wonderful times to come ’. The German leaders were leading the country to ruin.

When these leaders declare peace, common people can ascertain that they are preparing for war. It was rather difficult to judge when Germany was at peace and when it was at war.‘Peace and war were like wind and storm’. War grows from their peace. ‘Then- war kills, whatever their peace / Has left over ’. The German people were either killed during wars or lose their life during peace, due to starvation and lack of livelihood.

The Gepnan authorities tried to push wars as the way to the glory of Germany. But the people felt that these wars lead them to their graves. Germany was not at war for the first time. It was involved in many wars before the first world war. Many a time Germany conquered other nations and some times it was defeated and conquered. It did not matter if Germany was victorious or defeated, was conquered or was the conqueror, the common people starved, whatever was the consequences of the wars.

The German authorities declared that in the army every soldier was treated as a comrade. The aftny was an epitome of comradeship but in reality the Generals and soldiers were not treated as equals. If one wanted to know the truth they only had to visit the army canteen where the ordinary soldiers were served ordinary food while the German generals ate a sumptuous meal. There was inequality even in the army.

The soldiers in the army were gullible men. They had been brain-washed into participating in wars which had no benefit for them or their country. They did not realize that the wars were fought to satisfy the egos of the authorities. They were mere.pawns at the hands of the Generals. They did not realize that their own leaders were their real enemies and not the people of the nation they were marching against. They did not realize that those leaders who commanded them to march against the enemy were their real enemies and leaders who talked about the enemies of their nation were their real enemies.

At night the married German couples lay happily in their beds. That young wife’s are not aware that their husbands will be called to march against the enemy at anytime. They may also be killed in someone else’s war. They did not realize that they will bear orphans because their husbands would get killed in the wars.
In these lines Brecht turns his attention towards the Generals of the army. He addresses all the high – ranking officers of the army, who command the soldiers and plot war strategies. The poet tells the Generals that though their tanks are powerful vehicles which smash down forests and crush hundreds of soldiers, they have one defect they need a driver. They are useless unless they can be driven by a human-being.

Again the poet tells the general that his bomber (Air plane) is a very powerful machine. It can fly at a faster speed than a stormy wind and carry heavier load than an elephant easily. However, it is useless unless a mechanic (Human – being or a worker from the lower strata of the society) can be found to make it ready to fly. That is the only defect it days. Here, Brecht tells the General that he should not underestimate the talents of the common-man (an ordinary working class man) this Common -man do many useful in wars. But this common-man also has a defect that is‘he can think’.

Brecht is warning the Generals or the higher authorities that man’s ability to think to analyze make them also powerful. They have the ability to think, rather than to mindlessly follow instructions and because of this; they may not turn out to be as reliable as they think. Brecht is warning them of the human capability of thought.

Brecht assumes that the ability to think will make man refuse to obey henious commands from the authorities who ask them to kill other men in the name of war. Once a man realizes the futility of war and all its disastrous consequences, he will definitely refuse to take part in war. The common man will ultimately realize that they are not fighting their own wars but they are fighting the wars for the selfish motives of the army generals. Hence the poem suggests that it is better to put an end to wars.

English Summary

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