Written by Exislanda
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Saturday, 4 February 2012

image for A Caucus explained

The Caucasian Chalk Circle (German: Der Kaukasische Kreidekreis) is a play by the German modernist playwright Bertolt Brecht. An example of Brecht's epic theatre, the play is a parable about a peasant girl (Grusha) who rescues a baby and becomes a better mother than its natural parents.

The early parts of the play serve to introduce the main characters, but it is scene 5 (The Chalk Circle) that becomes the crux of the play. A peasant, Azdak, has been appointed judge and has to resolve who is the mother of a child. Is it Grusha or Natella?

Azdak makes a chalk circle and commands the 2 women to pull the baby out of the circle. The real mother, Grusha refuses because she doesn't want the child harmed.

A caucus is a meeting (or Tea party) of supporters or members of a political party in America. They too make a big chalk circle and the various candidates (dressed like gladiators or knights) have to pull poor people out of the circle and put them in a safety net. The contest takes many hours, because there are lots of poor people in America.

But there is no Wisdom of Soloman involved in this, they claw and scrap like a dog fight until one of them is victorious by capturing the most poor people in his safety net.

The supporters watch, jeer, bay for blood and drink tea all day as the pulling and fighting takes place, listening to CNN comentators who consider that this is good television.

But at the end of the day, nothing has really been won - they move on to do it all again somewhere else, week after week, month after month until only one of the candidates is still alive.

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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