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Major Barbara Paperback – January 27, 2010
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Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Top Customer Reviews
Indeed, Undershaft feels that poverty is the primordial crime from which all other crimes -- burglary, murder -- spring, and that it is better to give a poor man a job so he can afford to live rather than spend public money on methods of punishing him should he violate the law in his efforts to afford to live. Undershaft moralizes when he speaks, but in actuality he scoffs at what he considers ordinary Christian morals of the kind professed by his daughter Barbara, who has joined the Salvation Army in her fervid desire to help the poor and has attained the rank of major. She works at a shelter doling out bread and milk to the downtrodden and trying to find work for the unemployed, but her real goal is to bring them to "salvation" by raising them to a higher state of spirituality. When her fiance, a scholar of Greek named Adolphus Cusins, who by a certain twist of logic happens to be his own cousin, reveals himself to be a foundling, Undershaft decides he's found his heir.Read more ›
Her husband is a foundling. He does not know his parents. He is one of many generations of men who have run his factories. Each owner must be a male foundling. Her husband therefore wants the same for his successor and refuses to have his son or daughters succeed him. His wife describes him as a very moral man who practices immorality. Like George Bernard Shaw, he believes that each person has his or her own sense of morality and should not be governed by the moral values of others. In stark contrast, Barbara believes that all people are sinners.
Shaw portrays the hypocrisy he sees in the Salvation Army. For example, while being vehemently against the ingestion of alcohol and against war, they take money from brewers and arms dealers. Barbara sees this and quits the group. Shaw also compares the sordid English society and the well-run factory town of the husband.
His wife invites him to her home with the intention of persuading him to increase the support payments that he is making. Their two daughters want to marry and their potential husbands are poor.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A great play, but if Barbara had written it instead of George, I think it would have ended a bit differently!Published 18 months ago by Kristine Jouanne
Satire, subtle (and not so subtle) digs, sharp wit and a great plot
A scream: Armaments manufacturer Andrew Undershaft wants a successor; his Bible walloping daughter concludes it is better to take money from the devil for good use than leave it... Read morePublished 21 months ago by Peter Jakobsen
Not an entirely accurate bio in the preface to the book, and does not include the G.B.S. prologue found in other editions. I love the play itself, but buy a different edition.Published on November 29, 2013 by D. Pachner
This edition doesn't include Shaw's preface. That's ridiculous. Also the font is sans serif and it looks silly. But that is less important.Published on November 17, 2013 by Ellie
One of Shaw's best which elucidates his views on class & feminism with wit and without melodrama, deserves a new production.Published on November 7, 2013 by Garrett Huehner