Study Guide

Mother Courage and Her Children Scene XII

By Bertolt Brecht

Scene XII

BEFORE FIRST LIGHT. SOUND OF THE FIFES AND DRUMS OF TROOPS MARCHING OFF INTO THE DISTANCE.

  • MC is back at the farm, squatting down next to Kattrin.
  • While the peasants stand there and tell her she'd better head off, MC sings Kattrin a lullaby song as Kattrin slowly dies.
  • It would have been better if they'd kept quiet about their relatives in town, MC tells them. Then Kattrin wouldn't have gotten so excited.
  • If she hadn't left to make money in the village, the peasant responded, none of this would have happened.
  • Kattrin passes away in the meantime.
  • MC covers Kattrin with a tarp and starts to get her things together to head off.
  • The peasant wife asks if she has any children left.
  • MC says she has one, Eilif. Little does she know…
  • After giving the peasants money for a proper burial, MC harnesses herself to the cart and starts to head off. "Got to get back in business again," she tells them.
  • She sings as she heads off. "The new year's come. The watchmen shout. / The thaw sets in. The dead remain / Wherever life has not died out / It staggers to its feet again."
  • (Sound familiar? It's a repeat of the first song MC sings in the play.)
  • The End. Whew.