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    IT STARTS AT THE BASE,

    More than one socialist commentator has noted that a revolution is made at the base of society by a combination of experiences that cause the masses to throw of their former servitude, indifference or fear and just go for it. Needless to say those times are few and far between so that it is important to study the mechanics of those changes even if, as here, they are changes in an overwhelmingly agrarian Russia that was just entering the capitalist mode in the early 20th century. I believe, as Brecht obviously did when he brought it to the theater in highly industrialized Germany, that those same sentiments would also be expressed in more developed capitalist societies when tensions reached the breaking point. Brecht has adapted for the stage this story written by the great Russian writer, and sometime revolutionary, Maxim Gorky. The story line in both cases is fairly straight forward. A working class mother not far removed from the farm is fearful that her son's Bolshevik revolutionary activities will bring disaster on him and the family. As the story unfolds and the son's commitment grows in line with the government's repressive policies the mother starts, slowly, very slowly, to get the point of his work. Along the way her own `politics' change and by the end she is as committed to the cause as her son. Her banner is now red. On the stage this story gets told amid banners and music that add to the dramatic effect. In either format this is a powerful story and good piece of socialist propaganda. I remember an old German Communist Party member once telling me that in his youth he was actually recruited to the Communist Youth League by this play. Apparently the German CP set up literature tables in the lobby of the theater and at intermission and the end would sign up theater patrons after they had experienced the play. The book probably had the same effect.
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    Maximum great!,

    This is one really good book by one of my favorite writers Maxim Gorkij. Not the best but just read it, I know I will again.
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    Excellant portrayal

    Can be considered as one of the classics of the world literature, and magnum opus of the literary gaint of Russia Maxim Gorky "The Mother" shows how common soviet proletariat inspired and participated in the war against the autocratic czar and the capitalists of the country which eventually ended with the great October Revolution. Pelageya Nelovna - wife of a petty factory worker Vlassov stays away from social consciousness and revolutionery movements because of the burden of her life itself. She is a representative of hundreds and thousands of workers who can only think about their work and hard ways of relaxation out of it. The change she shows with her son Pavel Vlassov who takes a different direction when compared to other people living in the workers townships and moves in the path of revolution and eventually becoming a complete part of the revolution itself inspired thousands of soviet workers lived under the capatilist society of the then soviet union. The moral charecter and support Gorky extended for the revolution was manifested in "The Mother". She became representative mother country calling and supporting her children fighting for their rights. Running under the backdrop of workers township where men work till their bodies are completely tired, drink and beatup their wives and children to sublimate their frustration - mother represent the life of working class people in soviet union of later half of 19th century and early stages of 20th century. Away from political movements and social portrayal "The Mother" is also an excellant lyrical beauty. The events created and the detailed explanation of the backdrop in which the events occur represents creative and poetic story telling capabilities of Gorky. This is not a book to pass your time. If you like to read serious literature, if you want to read how to portray the social history in a contemporary literary work -this should be the first to read.
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    Read It,

    If you haven't read this moving paralell between the evolution of one man's mother and the evolution of Mother Russia you really ought to. And every so often stop and reflect on that paralell. In case you didn't know, this "Gorky" is the Gorky of Russia. You don't fly through this book, you think when you read it. You begin analyzing the conversations between the characters, watching the movements, thinking about them. Mother is uneducated and has been beaten in her life, she has a son who loves her very much and wants to protect her, make her better. He the son, is a revoutionary, he wants unions and equality between the rich and poor. Mother starts to evolve and little by little she begins to read, and develops her own passion, and she dearly loves all the young revolutionaries that come to her home. She begins to risk it all to make Russia better. She begins to do it alone. Two people told me to read this book, the first was a professor, the second was my father, whom I'd never seen cry, but with the moist glisten of tears in his eyes he told me to read Mother and it will change you too. He's right, it did. I feel very strongly about this book, read it.
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    Great Character

    I first became acquainted with the work of Maxim Gorky when I read a mention of his name in Charles Bukowski's coming of age novel "Ham on Rye" and given Bukowski's hard-boiled writing style, I expected to read a novel by Gorky in a modernist style that was gritty and realistic. In reading "Mother" I was not disappointed. Although at times the work moves along slowly it culminates in scenes of such passion and literary violence that the images Gorky portrays with his words are sure to stick with you. I'm thinking specifically of the scene that ends Book 1 of the novel when Pavel is arrested after his group has begun what turned out to be an abortive uprising among the factory workers. Mother is a political novel, but all the while, Gorky never loses sight of Nilovna, the mother herself, who provides the human element amidst all the political wrangling, fighting and philosophizing in pre-revolutionary Russia. With its no holds barred depictions of violence, its portrayal of ruthless government officials and the way that he presents the depraved nature of low paying labor at the turn of the century, Gorky's Mother is years ahead of its time as a political novel, but also, using a feminine character to really drive home his message and using prose that leaps off the page, Gorky's Mother is stylistically speaking, years ahead of its time also!
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