Bernard Shaw's Preface to Major Barbara

Cover of book Bernard Shaw's Preface to Major Barbara
Categories: Fiction » Literature

George Bernard Shaw was born in Dublin in 1856. Before becoming a playwright he wrote music and literary criticism. Shaw used his writing to attack social problems such as education, marriage, religio


n, government, health care, and class privilege. Shaw was particularly conscious of the exploitation of the working class. Major Barbara has been called the most controversial of Shaw's works. His seeming criticism of Christianity and The Salvation Army caused some to accuse him of blasphemy, while others defended what they saw as his realistic presentation of religion. In Major Barbara a woman who has committed herself to work with the Salvation Army faces the dilemma that its support must come from the corrupt rich, a realization which shatters her faith. She finally finds a code by which she can live. Shaw wrote this preface in part to explain his reasons for writing Major Barbara and in part to answer his critics.

Bernard Shaw's Preface to Major Barbara
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