It is difficult to get into the context of a thirty year war when one studies it in the comfort of a classroom.
As an introduction to Brecht’s “Mother Courage and Her Children,” the Grade 12 SL students were given a refresher course on fascism, communism and capitalism – economic ideologies which are, in some way, represented in the play.
The student were asked to illustrate if current Philippine society – while espousing capitalist values – has fascist and communist elements to it. They found strong fascist aspects and some communist practices (i.e. the wearing of uniforms, etc.)
Through this exercise, the class was able to discuss an alternate reality in the Philippines and to get a feel of how Anna Fierling and her children live in Brecht’s play – in a Europe torn by religion and politics during the 17th century. This could clarify to the class why the characters are forced to make certain decisions and to abandon other options.