Prelude The play opens on a street in the city of Szechuan where Wang, a water-seller, addresses the audience. He explains his line of work and complains that his business is inconsistent - when there is rain, he makes no money, and when there is drought, he needs to travel long distances to collect water and bring it back for sale. He goes on to say that he has heard a rumour that three gods will be visiting the city on a “fact-finding mission” to see if there are any good people left on Earth, or if they will need to re-write the commandments. Wang is eager to be the first to meet the gods and hopefully gain their favor.
After a while, the three gods arrive and are met by Wang. The gods are weary from their travels, and Wang immediately offers to find them a room to stay in for the night. He goes to the doors of several of the houses nearby, but is turned away by everyone. Finally Wang brings the gods to the door of Shen Te, a prostitute. Wang jokes to the audience that “she can’t
The Good Person of Szechuan guide sections