Major Barbara is a three-act play that premiered at the Court Theatre in 1905, and was subsequently published in 1907. It portrays idealist Barbara Undershaft, a Major in the Salvation Army, and her encounter with her long-estranged father who has made his fortune as a “dealer of death” in the munitions industry. Barbara doesn’t wish to be associated with her father’s ill-gotten wealth, but can’t prevent him from donating to the Salvation Army and eventually converting her family to his capitalist views on how best to help the poor.
In the preface, Shaw addresses his critics and explicates his actual attitudes towards the Salvation Army, versus the attitudes and fates portrayed by his characters and responded to by the critics. He continues on to discuss the issues of wealth and poverty, religion and science, and how they all fit into his views of society.
Major Barbara is one of the most controversial of Shaw’s work and was greeted with decidedly mixed reviews, yet it endures as one of his most famous plays.
This ebook is only thought to be free of copyright restrictions in the United States. It may still be under copyright in other countries. If you’re not located in the United States, you must check your local laws to verify that the contents of this ebook are free of copyright restrictions in the country you’re located in before downloading or using this ebook.
A brief history of this ebook
Finish metadata and initial publication
Move punctuation outside italics
Add semantics and styles
Fix act titles
Improve this ebook
Anyone can contribute to make a Standard Ebook better for everyone!
To report typos, typography errors, or other corrections, see how to report errors.
If you’re comfortable with technology and want to contribute directly, check out this ebook’s GitHub repository and our contributors section.