They are war Profiteers in the 30 Years War selling goods out of there wagon. Mother Courage is a Survivor. She is a money-maker. She is a brutal realist. She also lies to her family. Mother Courage sells normal good from her wagon like cloths and food. Her goods are sold to the camps of soldiers she follows in the wagon. The main thing she sells is availability.

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Her drive to make a sale and make as much profit as possible, that’s what it is all about for her. Mother Courage’s drive for money making has molded her into a brutal realist. Her main goal is to make money for herself, as much as possible. She justifies her drive in her head convincing herself that it is for the kids. Who can blame her though the way she makes money is not easy or easy to survive off of. So in order to survive she had to become a hard ass. When her son, Swiss Cheese, was in charge of the pay box for the regiment.

When the Catholic Troops came through and found out they took him for ransom. Instead of just paying the bounty, Mother Courage tried to work out the best deal possible. Like a con man would, she worked the deal till she had no choice but pay. The soldiers did not like how she was trying to con them, so they killed Swiss Cheese. Mother Courage being the “hard ass” she is, doesn’t acknowledge his death and moves on with her wagon. She holds on to hope that things will be better even if people she loves die.

Mother Courage uses her family as the reason for moving on. When her son, Swiss Cheese, dies she justifies moving on because of her other children. It is apparent that this is just her using her family as an excuse to not give up and keep making money. Despite them being an excuse she does love her children and care for them. One of her sons Eilif was being praised by his general for killing peasants and their cattle. When Mother Courage finds out, she scolds her son and slaps him. She was concerned for her son putting himself at risk like that.

She later contradicts her actions toward her son’s safety when she did not look for him or show interest in finding out what happened to him. Mother Courage never found out that her son was executed, but you would think she would wonder where he has been. She did not look for him because it was not convenient for business, so family has to wait. Mother Courage’s last child Kattrin was sent into town to get supplies for the wagon. When Kattrin returns she has cuts on her face. She was assaulted while in route and some of the merchandise was scratched.

Mother courage was more upset with the ruined merchandise than her daughter being hurt. Again showing that business is more important than family. Later, Kattrin was also killed by soldiers for warning the town they are coming. Kattrin was her last child so she spent more time mourning her passing and had her properly buried. Mother Courage then straps up her cart and moves on. . Mother Courage said right after she paid the peasant to bury Kattrin “I must get back into business”(Bertolt Brecht et al. 1966).

Proving that her hope things willing get better is ongoing. She believes this so much that it’s blinding her to the truth. She has lost everything; more then she can ever gain from the war. The very thing that Mother Courage made a profit off of is the same thing that takes everything away from her. The cart that once carried all her kids and merchandise is a symbol of everything she had. Now the cart is light because there are no more children and very few merchandise.

Mother Courage recognizes this at the end when she says “I hope I can pull the wagon by myself. Yes, I’ll manage, there’s not much in it now. I must get back into business”. (Bertolt Brecht et al. ,1966) She has learned nothing throughout her life in this business. No matter how much you give to war it always takes more away from you, especially if you’re willing to risk everything like Mother Courage.

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