Your assignment is to prepare and submit a paper on murray’s mother-in-law to major barbara: the outside story. A commentary on the politics of alms-giving, which the rich like Lord Undershaft are determined to corrupt, with their emphasis that Money and Gunpowder are the real bases of salvation of society, to which even love, truth and honor must be subservient. . A self-confessed agnostic or non-believer in religion, George Bernard Shaw was born a Protestant in a largely Catholic Ireland in 1856. He left Ireland in his twenties to fulfill his life’s ambition- which was to write plays. Shaw was the ultimate practical man, having no use for obscure ideas but believing in what he saw for himself. Shaw-along with others like him who believed in the need for social reform- was responsible for the founding of the Fabian Society as well as the London School of Economics. He was also a great admirer of the playwright Henrik Ibsen, the musician Richard Wagner and the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. Shaw’s plays ‘Man and Superman’(1903), ‘Arms and the Man’(1894), ‘Major Barbara’ (1905) and ‘Pygmalion’(1912) show his interest in class warfare and man’s ultimate possibilities. Shaw regarded the rich and middle class as winners and the poor class as the ultimate losers in society (Shaw et al, 15). Major Barbara is a play in three acts and is set in January 1906. The setting for the first act is Lady Undershaft’s abode in London. It is an after-dinner gathering of the family as they wait for the arrival of Lord Undershaft. Lady Undershaft had in fact disassociated herself with her husband since he refused to hand down the reins of his military empire to his son Stephen. As per tradition, the business could only be headed by one who was a foundling like Lord Undershaft himself. It is clear that there is much tension in the family due to lack of responsibility and financial difficulties. Stephen has not taken on the responsibilities he should have.
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