Mother Courage and Her Children Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. What is making the recruiting officer lose his confidence in mankind?

While waiting for men to pass them on the road to recruit them into the army, the recruiting officer theorizes about frail and unfit men they may recruit into the army who would let them down. He follows this thought with a statement that one cannot trust anyone to be honest anymore and this lack of "faith, trust, and honor" makes him lose faith in humanity.

2. What issue does the sergeant have with peace?

The sergeant says that peace causes disorganization but war gets people organized and productive. He says that peace encourages waste and laziness. However, he also claims that peace makes people nameless and irrelevant.

3. What do the sergeant and recruiting officer think the benefit of war is?

The sergeant claims that war gets people organized and less gluttonous. He also says that people value themselves and their families more since they register their names, which is not done in peace. The recruiting officer, while trying to recruit Mother Courage's children, glorifies the life of a soldier, saying that it will bring wealth and fame.

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