Arms and the Man By George Bernard Shaw

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Arms and the Man By George Bernard Shaw
Arms and the Man

Arms and the Man: Summary

The play takes place in Bulgaria and takes place during the brief Bulgarian-Serbian war in the 1880s. It begins with the young and romantic Raina Petkoff and her mother Catherine talking enthusiastically about a successful cavalry charge led by the handsome and heroic Sergius , to whom Raina is committed. They are delighted with their success. His defiant young servant Louka enters and tells them that there will soon be fighting in the streets, and that they should close all their windows.

Raina’s shutters do not close, and shortly after the shooting begins that night, she hears a man go up to her balcony and enter her room. He is a professional Swiss soldier fighting for Servia. Although he fights for the enemy and is not at all heroic (fears for his life, threatens to cry and carries chocolates instead of ammunition) Raina is touched by his plight. He annoys her when she tells him that the man who directed the cavalry charge against them was only successful because he was very lucky: the Servians were not equipped with the right ammunition. Raina says indignantly that commander is her fiancé, and the man apologizes, holding back the laughter. However, Raina agrees to keep the man safe, saying that his family is one of the most powerful and richest in Bulgaria, and that his safety will be guaranteed as his guest. She goes to look for her mother and when they return she has fallen asleep in Raina’s bed.

In the next act, the war is over, and Major Petkoff (Raina’s father) comes home, and Sergio and Raina meet. They talk to each other lovingly about how perfect their romance is. But when Raina enters, Sergius holds Louka in his arms, clearly wishing her. Louka believes that he is taking advantage of her because she is a servant, and tells her that he does not believe her and that he is different simply because he is rich and she is poor. They separate just when Raina returns. Then, to make things more complicated, the man on Raina’s balcony, who announces himself as Captain Bluntschli, arrives to return a coat he was lent the morning after resting in the house. Catherine tries to avoid being seen, but Major Petkoff recognizes him and invites him to enter to help with some of the last remaining military orders.

In the final act, in the library, it turns out that Louka, although she was supposed to be engaged to the main servant Nicola, is in love with Sergio and he is in love with her. Raina finally admits that she has fallen in love with Bluntschli, who at first doubts, believing that she is much younger than her. When he finds out about his real age (23 instead of the 17 he had thought he was), he declares his affection for her. The play ends happily, with two new couples.

Book Information:

  • Name: Arms and the Man
  • Writer: George Bernard Shaw
  • Categories: English Literature, Novel
  • Language: English
  • Book Format: PDF
  • Total Pages: Unknown
  • File Size: Unknown

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