Paper Topics for Shaw`s Major Barbara

Paper Topics for Shaw’s Major Barbara
Choose one of these three essay topics.
Use specific information from the plays to show that you read them and
understood them. You may quote small sections if you like, but do so sparingly.
Your ideas and thoughts are what are wanted, and too many quotes will limit
your ability to express yourself.
1. Barbara changes from idealist to realist. Explain the realism of Barbara at
the end of the play, and what affected her changed point of view. Include
Cusins, her father, the Salvation Army, and the factory and model town in your
essay. Use a focal point the issue of poverty.
2. In his preface Shaws says that, “At present there is not a single credible
established religion in the world. That is perhaps the most stupendous fact in the
whole world situation.” Explain how Shaw argues that point in the play. Add a
final paragraph with your opinion as to whether he proved his point.
3. In Act Two, Cusins asks Undershaft, “Is there any place in your religion for
honor, justice, truth, love, mercy, and so forth?” Discuss Undershaft’s answer to
that question (which comes out over time), and explain whether or not you agree
with Undershaft’s answer. In explain your view, include material learned from the
course (on industrialization, capitalism, socialism, etc.)