Major Barbara (Kobo eBook)

Major Barbara By George Bernard Shaw Cover Image
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First performed in 1905 and published in 1907, “Major Barbara” is a dramatic play by the famed Irish playwright and activist George Bernard Shaw. The story centers around its title character who, as an officer in the Salvation Army, becomes disenchanted by the increasing social problems that she sees and the willingness of her organization to accept money from armament manufacturers. Barbara is disillusioned about the good work the Salvation Army is doing when she discovers they have taken money from men like her father, who has become wealthy selling weapons, and a whisky distiller. Barbara’s views change over the course of this three-act play and she begins to believe that her time would be better spent helping to convert the working class to Christianity than by attempting to help the poor with nothing more than donations of bread and soup. In the end, she marries the new owner of her father’s munitions factory and has convinced herself that helping the factory workers will be more fulfilling. “Major Barbara” is considered one of Shaw’s most controversial works for its harsh criticism against religious institutions and charities for failing to properly address the problems of modern society and poverty. This edition includes a biographical afterword.