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Good Woman of Setzuan

             The play, The Good Woman of Setzuan, written by Brecht is an epic play about society and religion. Throughout the play there is a struggle for goodness and for survival. The play the Good Woman of Setzuan is about religion. In this play the author gives specific thoughts and ideas about religion and how it should be followed. While Shen Te is struggling against society to survive, she is also struggling within herself to be a good person, according to the gods. The gods have a code of ethics that each person should follow in order to be considered good. They are on a search for one true good person in the world. Shen Te is trying to be this religious good person. As long as a person is in search of goodness and always seeking for hope they are good in the eyes of the gods. .
             When this play was taking place poverty was very common. It was not uncommon to see people result to deceit in order to survive. Shen Te was an exception she was an honest person trying to survive the best way she knew how. When the gods come to stay with her she feels unworthy because she knows she is not following the principles of the gods. Shen Te states these principles when she say, "I"d like to honor my father and mother and speak nothing but the truth and not covet my neighbors house. I should love to stay with one man. But how" (10)? Throughout the rest of the play the audience witnesses Shen Te struggle with these questions. How to survive while still following the commandments? .
             Throughout the play Shen Te has her ups and downs. She is trying to be this righteous person while trying to provide for others. Which proves to be an issue that provokes many problems. The key issue however is not if Shen Te will survive but on how she will survive. Will she stay honorable and honest or will she result to trickery and deceit? Shen Te as Shen Te never loses sight trying to help her neighbor. In the end of the play the gods confront Shen Te.

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