Justice is an important institution in any well governed community. Explain the truth of the above assertion with reference to Bertolt Brecht’s The Caucasian Chalk Circle (20mks)
- In the prologue there is the dispute over the ownership of the valley, presided over by the delegate from the capital, Tiflis.
- Emphasis is laid on fairness in order to avoid the reoccurrence of future disputes.
- The fruit farmers and the goat herders amicably discuss a resolution to the dispute.
- It is decided that the land goes to the fruit and vine growers amicably as they would make better use of the land.
- The agreement is followed by a party to seal the deal
- Justice is also portrayed by the test of the chalk circle
- In the old story, the real mother is revealed by the test.
- Her feelings for the child are too deep to allow her to gain it by force that injures the child
- The child is taken from the natural mother, Natella Abashwili who is only after the inheritance and given to the false mother Grusha Vashnadze who has the greatest feelings of love for the boy (Michael Abashwili)
- Justice is also shown in the way Azdak’s good turn in protecting and giving shelter to the Grand Duke.
- Eventually he is rewarded when the Grand Duke appoints Judge just in time to save him from the hangman’s noose
- Azdak then proceeds to dispense justice to the poor and down trodden in a manner never witnessed before in the land.
- Adzak’s two year reign as Judge is treated as an era of rough justice especially for the poor and vulnerable in society.
- The singer says – he broke the rules to save them
- At long last the poor and the lowly had someone who was not too holy to be bribed by empty hands.
Human weaknesses affect characters negatively. Explain the truth of the above assertion with reference to Bertolt Brecht’s The Caucasian Chalk Circle (20mks)
The following must come out clearly;
- Weakness of a character
- Details of that weakness
- How it affects that character negatively
- She forgets her child at the time of war and takes clothes and boots instead, (pg 25)
- The maid escapes with the child to save his life but Natela later goes for the child because she wants to inherit the governor’s estate.
- She loses both the child and the estate.
- Eliminates his brother to get his power,
- He oppresses his subjects forcing people to go to war, charging high taxation.
- He loses his life and power.
- Fails to give Grusha a warm welcome though she comes from town where war has broken out tired and sick
WVI. Natela’s hatred for the poor. She undermines Grusha during the court case feeling that Grusha is too poor to keep the child.
- She finally loses the child to the poor Grusha due to her arrogance.
Discuss the consequences of Fighting and war in any society with evidence from Bertolt Brecht’s The Caucasian Chalk Circle.
Fighting and war in any society has far reaching consequences. During war people’s normal lifestyle/ way of living is disrupted and there is a lot of destruction of property and lives. Bertolt Bretch has shown how war affects people in his play, The Caucasian Chalk Circle.
- During war, the innocent and the vulnerable suffer the most from the effects of war and fighting. The servants say this about their employer, the Governor’s family: “They even have to have their weeping done for them (p 26). Michael is being hunted down to be killed yet he is not aware of the war, being only an infant.
- There is disruption of people’s normal lifestyles as farms and homes are abandoned. Resettlement has to be negotiated afresh after the war. See p7 (prologue). As a result of war, there are ruins of a war ravaged Caucasian village, the people orchard is already destroyed and the once beautiful dairy farm is a ruin.
- People’s livelihoods are destroyed as the goat herders complain of the low quality of cheese they now produce from their new settlement. The old man whom Grusha requests to sell her some milk retorts: “Go to the soldiers if you want milk.” The soldiers of the Grand Duke burn the houses of innocent people and kill them making it difficult for them to live peacefully.
- War creates internal refugees. The farmers and the goat herders have been displaced from their homes having been uprooted by the Germans. Grusha and her fellow workers flee into the Northern Mountains as a result of fighting in the city.
- Fighting and war breeds civil wars and counter coups as warring groups fight for supremacy. The grand Duke is overthrown by the princes who murder his governor but they are in turn rounded up and killed when the Grand Duke takes back powers.
- There is rampant landlessness during the war and fighting as seen in the cases presented before Azkak. He has been a thief as Shauwa says. The soldiers and policemen also break the law they are meant to uphold. The two farming groups – goat herders and the fruit growers are landless.
- War results in exploitation and oppression. For instance, in “The song of injustice in Persia. It is stated that the kings are driven by greed in their quest to acquire new territories by impoverishing peasants. Their sense of imperialism drives them into unrealistic adventures that Azdak refers to as “the roof of the world” ironically, as the soldiers kill each other, the marshals assault each other.
- There is fear and apprehensions which are direct effects of this war. Jussup feigns illness and lies in bed for a long time for fear of being drafted into the war. He only “recovers when he hears that the war has ended. “The song of the centre” clearly portrays the fear among the soldiers at the front line. It says that if one wants to survive the war and come back home one has to remain at the center “p47. The peasant woman at whose door Grusha leaves Michael shows extreme fear and apprehension at the sight of the soldiers. She disowns Grusha’s agreement with her to claims that the child is hers and instead falls down on her knees begging for mercy. Grusha has to flee again with Michael.
The society depicted in The Caucasian Chalk Circle is one that ignores important issues and gives priority to less serious ones leading often with disastrous consequences. Discuss the validity of the statement with illustrations from the play.
Many people ignore the important things that matter in their lives and instead pay attention to useless things that don’t add value to their lives often leading to dire consequences. This is true of characters in the play like Natella Abashwili, the governor and others as discussed below.
- Immensely rich yet has many beggars, petitioners etc at his door.
- Refuses to hear the message from the wounded rider before the mass and ever after leading to his tragic death. Page 16 -19
- Concerned about the dresses to pack leading to her abandoning her baby.
- In the court she is interested in getting Michael back only because of the estates left by her husband.
- She ends up losing the baby to Grusha
Aniko and Lavrenti
- Can’t stand Grusha with her ‘baby’. Aniko is so religious to accept Grusha
- Lavrenti forces Grusha to marry a ‘dying’ man whom she does not love. He pays the mother of the man a huge sum and later the marriage is dissolved by Azdak.
- Interested in marrying her son before he ‘dies’ and no attempts to treat him
- She has to feed the guests at the wedding, hiring a monk and later her son is divorced.
- Interested in knowing whether a certain land owner raped his niece or not and not the plight of the niece.
- Heavily fined.
- Gets a stroke when he hears the doctor he paid fees to train is treating free
- Heavily fined.
- One of the princes who ran down the war
- Wants his unqualified nephew appointed the judge
- Embarrassed by Azdak in the mock trial and later killed on the return of the duke
“ What there is shall go to those who are good for it”. With illustrations from the play the caucasian chalk circle, write an essay in support of this statement.
- They have plans to build their fruits culture to ten times its original size
- They have prepared a plan for an irrigation project
- The farm will not only grow more fruits but could also support vineyards
- They even present calculations for the project
- She rescuers him on the Easter Sunday when his mother leaves him behind
- Gruisha takes to a risky journey to the Northern Mountains amid pursuit by the ironshirts
- She marries a man on his death bed in order to give legitimacy to Michael
- In the chalk circle test ,she does not pull Michael from the circle
- In the mock could scene be displays better knowledge of the law in comparison to prince Kazbeki’s nephew
- His reign as judge is described as a brief golden age, almost an age of justice .In making his rulings the look from the rich and gave to the poor
- He is late reappointed as judge by the Grand Duke as a show of gratitude for saving his life
- The divorce paves way for Gruisha’s marriage to Simon
- Simon had stood by Gruisha in court claiming to be Michael’s father
- The union between Gruisha and Jessup wars for convenience
- Simon truly
- Deserved Gruisha for he came back to lack for her after the war
Drawing illustrations from what Grusha goes through in order to save and adopt Michael, write an essay on the challenges of being a good person in a rotten society
Even in a rotten society, if possible to come across a good person. In the Caucasian Chalk circle, such a person is Grusha. Grusha goes through many challenges in order to save and adopt Michael. Some of these challenges are discusses below
Accept any other relevant introduction
- She sacrifices the little she has in order to sustain Michael. She buys milk exorbitantly
- She is forced to come up with ingenuinenes way of eluding the red shirts who are after him. She knocks one of them down with a piece of wood, enduring her life in the process.
- She crosses of dangerous bridge, endangering her life and Michael’s
- She has to contend with a society that frowns upon single motherhood. She is forced to accept marriage to an invalid called Jussup in order to normalize her status
- Her relationship with her fiancée, Simon , is endangered.
- She is force to go through a court processes in order to gain custody of Michael
“ True mother hood is not necessarily biological” Write an essay illustrating this statement using Bertolt Brecht’s , The Caucasian chalk Circle”.
- Natella Abashiwili, the biological mother of Michael abandons the child as she feels the city .She is more interested in her fine linen and shoes as well as horse carriages
- It takes the motherly instinct of the kitchen maid Grusha to retrieve the baby and fend for it offering protection and nourishment
- Grusha adopts the body and risks being captured by the soldiers and crosses the dangerous and rotten bridge to save the life of Michael from the iron shirts
- The mockery of Grusha’s sister-in-law concerning the illegitimate child, Michael does not affect her affection for the young boy
- Vashnadze endures an arranged and difficult marriage on paper to a “dying man, Jussup: for the sake of the child
- A mere kitchen help (Grusha) fights for the custody of Michael in court and does not pull him to her side in the test of the chalk circle so as not to tear him up. She fears to destroy the boy she has nurtured and brought up expensively as a real mother.