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Q. 1. The themes of war and marriage have been humorously interwoven in the play Arms and the Man.

Arms and the Man has two themes: one is war, the other is marriage. These themes are interwoven, for
Shaw believed that while war is evil and stupid, and marriage desirable and good, both had become
wrapped in romantic illusions which led to disastrous wars and also to unhappy marriages.
Shaw refuses to believe that soldiers are exceptionally heroic and are inspired by patriotic sentiments.
According to him fighting is as much a profession as any other activity. Bluntschli, a Swiss by birth, has
served as a soldier in many countries. But he is no hero. He is a mercenary. He tells Raina that he fights
for the Serbians, not because he feels for Serbia but because Serbia fell in his way. He rather exposes the
glamour that people attach to military heroism. Life, not death, is the object of a soldier on the
battlefield. It is only youngmen with no experience of warfare that risk their lives rashly like Don
Quixote. Experienced soldiers have neither sentiments nor enthusiasm. They try to preserve their lives
as long as they can. First through Bluntschli and then through Sergius, the soldier-lover, Shaw bitterly
satirises. militarism. Sergius admits before Catherine after returning victorious from' the war:
Soldiering, my dear madam, is the cowards art of attacking mercilessly when you are strong, and
keeping out of harms way when you are weak. That is the whole secret of successful fighting. Get your
enemy at a disadvantage; and never, on any account, fight him on equal terms. Again, he tells
Bluntschli that war, the dream of patriots and heroes, is a fraud, a hollow sham like love.
William Irvine can be considered quite right in Shaws attitude towards war. According to him he was
profoundly affected by the jbsenite opposition between romance and reality, the ideal and the real. His
reility tends to be too much Benthamite logic woven into the seamy side of illusion. Consequently, he
takes out so much of the heroism and romance out of war that the result, even when allowance has
been made for satire and comedy; tends to be a very logical, precise, and ignoble kind of madness
pursued amid blood, sweat, and dirt. What he objects to, as Chesterton says, is not so much war as the
romantic attractiveness of war.
Like war, love too has no romantic glamour in Shaws eyes, Rainas views about Sergius undergo a
cataclysmic change when Bluntschli tells her the reality about the victorious cavalry charge. Sergius
himself comes back as a new man. He finds the higher love quite unrealistic. Talking to Louka whom he
has found more satisfying in sex relations, he asks: Louka: Do you know what the higher love is ?
louka [astonished] No, sir.
sergius. Very fatiguing thing to keep up for any length of
time, Louka. One feels the need of some relief after it.
Similarly Raina, the romantic heroine ultimately realises that Bluntschli, a matter-of-fact, straightforward man, with business stability to his credit, is abetter husband than Sergius a mere romantic
soldier. The result is that Raina marries Bluntschli and Sergius commits himself to Louka, a proud
maidservant. Nicola whose ambition to marry Louka was much older than Sergius misses her because

Shaw believes that in the interest of better generation coupling between man and woman must be
proper. Life Force is always intents upon producing a more intelligent man and for this purpose Nicola,
the dull servant is no match for Louka, the sharp lady.
In the play Shaws views on war are expressed through the mouth of Bluntschli. As the play opens, we
are introduced to Raina, a pretty, young lady with her head full of romantic views of love and war, the
result of her reading Byron and Pushkin. She stands on the balcony of her bedroom admiring the beauty
of the night, and dreaming of her betrothed, Sergius, who is out on the front fighting the Serbs. Soon her
mother, Catherine, enters the room to inform her that Sergius has become the hero of the hour as a
result of his splendid victory in the battle of Slivnitza. He made a heroic cavalry charge on the artillery of
the Serbs and put them to flight. He did so on his own initiative ignoring the orders of his Russian
commander. Raina is in ecstasy, and in raptures kisses the photo of her lover, her betrothed and her
knight. She feels that she has been a, prosaic little coward in her doubts about the heroism of Sergius,
and that she is unworthy of him. Sergius reported heroism in war feeds her romantic love of him. She is
full of idealistic notions of love and war.
However, her romantic notions of War and soldiering receive a rude shock with the arrival of the fugitive
Bluntschli. He is blunt in everything he says, blunt as is suggested by his name itself. First she is told the
truth about Sergius cavalry charge. It was something foolish and rash, and Sergius ought to be courtmartialled for it. He and his regiment nearly committed suicide, only the pistol missed fire. Her heroic
ideals of war, thus, receive a rude shock. Further she is told that the horseman did not really want to
attack; they pulled hard at the horses, but the horses ran away with them. The conclusion is that most
soldiers are bom fools, and that they are all cowards at heart... Further, we are told that it is the duty of
a soldier to live as long as he can, and that he must run away to save his life. He bluntly tells her that all
soldiers are afraid to die, and further that fe$s their duty to live as long as they can. Bluntschli himself
runs away and enters the bedroom of Raina to save his life.
He even uses Raina cloak as a shield to save himself, and thus administers a rude shock to her. Not only
that, he demands chocolates to eat, and says that he carries chocolates to the front instead of
cartridges. In other words, food is more important than ammunition in war, and the truth of this view
has been amply proved by the experiences of the two World Wars. In Bluntschli, Shaw has presented a
realistic portrait of an average soldier, who is ready to fight when he must and is glad to escape when he
can, Shaw has shown that a soldier is an ordinary creature of flesh and blood, who suffers from hunger
and fatigue, and who is roused to action only by danger. In short, as Sergius puts it, war is a trade like
any other trade; it is the cowards art of attacking the enemy when he gets him at a disadvantage, and
of avoiding to fight him on equal terms. Of course, war is to be fought when absolutely necessary, but
there should be no glorification of war. War is a brutal affair, and we should not sing songs of it. The
cruelty and horror of war are highlighted through the relation of the horrible death of the twelve
soldiers burnt alive in a farmhouse. In this way idealistic notions of war are punctured.
Both Sergius and Raina are disillusioned in their romantic or idealistic notions of war; they are also
disillusioned in their romantic attitude to love. Raina had glorified Sergius as a hero, and tales of his
heroism had fed her love for him. On his return from the war, we get a scene of, higher love, between
the two. Sergius calls her his Queen and his goddess and she calls him her King, and her hero. He is

the chivalrous knight of the medieval tales of chivalry, and she is the lady, the source of his inspiration,
and his heroism. They glorify each other, and as a consequence are blind to the faults of each other.
They try to discover in each other a god or a goddess, and each, forgets that the other is an ordinary
creature of flesh and blood, with common human imperfections. They try to find the divine in the
merely human. This is the mistake, the fallacy, of all romantic love, and the dramatist has focused the
searchlight of truth and reason on this fallacy. He has shown the imperfections of both Sergius and
Raina. Such romantic love, more often than not, is a sham; it has no basis in fact and reality. As soon as
Rainas back is turned, Sergius flirts with Louka, for relaxation after the strain of higher love, as he puts
it. He cannot believe that Raina is capable of spying, or that she can love another. But Raina does
actually spy upon them, and she is already in love with Bluntschli. Her words to Catherine that she
would like to scandalise Sergius, and that she would cram with chocolates the mouth of her chocolate*
cream soldier, if she met him ever again, reveals the state of her heart. Love can be lasting only when it
is based on the understanding of reality about each other on the part of the lovers. Higher love, or
spiritual love is a hoax; sexual gratification is necessary. Sergius fails to get this gratification from
Raina, so he instinctively turns to Louka. Raina instinctively turns to Bluntschli, because he is
intellectually superior to Sergius, and so likely to be a better father to her children. The urge of the Life
Force is for procreation, as well as for moving to a higher level of evolution. Love and marriage are.
necessary to achieve this end. Sex is not to be used for pleasure..
Compare and contrast Sergius Saranoff and Bluntschli.
In the play Arms and the Man there is a sharp contrast between the characters of Bluntschli and Sergius.
This contrast is one of the principal sources of interest in this play. In the opening dialogue between
Catherine, the mother and Raina, the daughter, a romantic image of Sergius is presented. Catherine
informs Raina that in the battle of Bulgarians and the Serbians, a splendid victory has been won by
Sergius. Catherine describes Sergius as the hero of the hour and as the idol of his regiment. Raina feels
thrilled to hear the news of Sergiuss victory and says that her ideas about Sergiuss heroism have
proved to be true. This romantic image of Sergius is slightly shaken, but persists in Rainas mind even
after Bluntschli has told her about the blunder which Sergius had committed in making a cavalry charge
upon the Serbian positions. When Sergius returns from the war and meets Raina, she treats him as a
great hero, and describes him as her King. She looks at him through the same romantic spectacles, and
pays a tribute to his heroism. She tells him that he has proved himself to be worthy of any woman in the
world. Bluntschli, on the other hand, appears at the very outset as a person belonging to the world of
reality and not to the world of romance. He bursts into Rainas bedroom pursued by the Bulgarian
cavalrymen, and also feeling hungry and exhausted.
He has been through the ordeal of fighting on the battlefield for three days consecutively, and he admits
that he is not only afraid at this time but also in need of food and sleep. He hungrily eats the chocolate
creams given to him by Raina; and he tells her that the experienced soldiers always cany food with j
them whenever they go to the battlefield while the inexperienced ones carry only weapons. Bluntschli
shows himself to be a practical kind of man so far as his ideas of war are concerned. He not only exposes
the Quixotic approach of Sergius to war and its problems but also explodes the myth of the romantic
knight who loves danger and even seeks danger in order to display his bravery and courage. Though,
later in the play Sergius too develops a realistic attitude towards war and towards soldiering, but that

happens only later. Sergius shows later that he too has discovered the truth about war and about
soldiering; but Bluntschli has that realistic view from the very beginning because he has spent as many
as fifteen years of his life as a professional soldier. Gradually Sergius is disillusioned by war and speaking
to Catherine, expresses the view that soldiering is the cowards art of attacking the enemy mercilessly
when one is strong and keeping away from the enemy when one is weak. He also decides to resign his
post in the army because he feels dischanted about the military profession.
The practical nature of Bluntschli also makes him efficient in the performance of all his duties. He is by
no means a coward. In fact, he tells Raina that, if the Bulgarian soldiers enter her room and tiy to
capture him, he would fight against them like a demon instead of allowing them to capture him. But he
does not go out of his way to seek danger; and that is why he had fled from the battlefield. He is very
keen to save himself from being killed, and he tells Raina that everybody should try to live as long as
possible (honourably of course). It is his practical approach to life which makes him criticize Sergiuss
attack upon the Serbian positions, though Sergius himself had thought it a grand act of heroism on his
part. Similarly, Bluntschli showed his practical nature at the time of the negotiations between the
Bulgarians and the Serbians with regard to the exchange of prisoners. By his practical skill and his
shrewdness, he was able to obtain from Sergius and Major Petkoff the release of fifty ablebodied
Serbian prisoners by giving them two hundred worthless horses in exchange. Referring to this incident,
Sergius frankly admits that Bluntschli had manipulated him and Petkoff as if they were two innocent
little children. Here we clearly see the contrast between Bluntschlis practical nature and Sergiuss
romantic nature. This contrast is then reinforced when Sergius is unable to help Major Petkoff in sending
three Bulgarian cavalry regiments to a distant town, while Bluntschli is able to solve this problem easily.
On this occasion, Sergius merely sits by Bluntschlis side, while Bluntschli works out a detailed plan of
how those regiments are to travel, and how they are to overcome the problem of finding fodder for
their horses on the way. Here, once again, both Sergius and Petkoff are like innocent little children,
being guided by a seasoned soldier.
Sergius is presented in the beginning of the play not only as a romantic knight fighting on the battlefield
to display his heroism, but also a romantic lover. When on his return from the war, he meets Raina, he
uses the language of romantic lovers, speaking with great fervouf, and telling her that she was the
inspiration behind his brave deeds. Even though his love for Raina is not really of the passionate kind,
yet he speaks like a passionate lover. Immediately afterwards, he begins to make advances to Louka, the
maid servant. In his dealings with Louka he certainly shows himself to be a realist, but in his dealing with
Raina he has spoken like a romantic lover who belongs to the domain of fairyland. Bluntschli is, in this
respect, entirely different from Sergius. He deals with Raina from the very start like a practical man. In
the beginning, he only seeks shelter and food from her.. Later he comes to take another look at her
because he had felt attracted by her charm and her kindness towards him. But even now he does not
immediately declare his intentions. He continues to speak in a matter of fact tone, without showing in
the least that he is in love with her and that he wants her as his wife. It is only when he has made sure
about her interest in him that he reveals his real motive. He has also made sure by this time that Sergius
is not really in love with Raina. In other words, he makes sure that neither Sergius is genuinely in love
with Raina nor Raina is truly in love with Sergius. Bluntschlis approach to this affair is that of a practical
man, and he acts as an excellent bargainer on this occasion just as he had shown himself as an excellent
bargainer at the time of the exchange of prisoners. He now feels no hesitation in trying to prove that he

can afford to provide Raina with all those comforts and facilities to which she is accustomed, and which
Sergius was in a position to provide to her. Now he asserts that he is financially much better off than
Sergius. And he shows his sense of realism when he agrees to being described by Raina as her chocolate
cream soldier. Thus Bluntschli can even be called a prosaic lover.
Another point of contrast between the two men is that Bluntschli is a fight-hearted, witty man with a
keen sense of humour, while Sergius is a somewhat serious, even solemn man, though he is not
absolutely devoid of humour. Bluntschli talks light-heartedly and even jovially when he first meets Raina,
though he isat this time in grave danger. He shows a ready wit, and he makes a really amusing remark
when, in reply to Sergiuss challenge to him, he says that he would fight not with a sword but with a
machine-gun because he is an artillery man and not a cavalry man. Sergius, on the contrary, talks
earnestly and sometimes even bitterly. He is feeling sour about having been denied the promotion
which he had expected for his] services in the army. He expresses annoyance on learning that Louka hftd
overheard a private conversation between Raina and the visitor in her bedroom. He feels annoyed on
getting the impression that Bluntschli had made love to Raina in her bedroom when he had first met
her, and goes fo the extent of challenging Bluntschli to a duel. Bluntschli treats even th^s challenge
lightly, making jokes about the matter. Bluntschli is a complete extrovert, while Sergius is a thorough
The most striking point of contrast between Bluntschli and Sergius is,-that, while Bluntschli is a fully
integrated personality, Sergius has a split personality. Bluntschlis character is marked by stabilitySgl a
harmonious personality. Sergius, on the contrary, tells Louka that he is not one man but several men
combined in one. He tells her that he is a combination different individuals, and he does not know which
one of them is the real Sergius. He explains this view of himself to Louka by saying that one of those six
men is a hero, another a buffoon, another a humbug, another Jmit of a blackguard, and yet another a
coward, and jealous like all cowards. Thus Sergius has a complex and multiple personality, andj|jis
multiplicity is something which torments him. Bluntschli, on the contrary, has no inner conflicts. He is
perfectly at peace with himself;
In short, Sergiuss character has been conditioned by the anti-romantic intentions of the dramatist. Just
as Bluntschli typifies anti-romanticism, Sergius stands for romanticism. His character la just the opposite
of Bluntschlis. He is a foil to Bluntschli. He serves to throw his antiromanticism into sharp relief by
comparison. In the beginning, he is at the centre of action, but gradually he is pushed into the
Which character do you like most in Arms and the Man and why ? Give your reasons.
Raina Petkoff, a romantic young girl is physically a attractive woman. She is intensely conscious of her
youth and beauty. We first meet Raina on the first or second page of the play. When we meet her first,
she stands on the balcony of her bedroom, gazing at the distant snow-covered mountains, and admiring
the romantic beauty of the night. At this time of her life, the word romance best describes the essence
of her character and her disposition.
Raina has read Byron and Pushkin with Sergius, her fiance and imbibed romantic ideas from them. She is
thoroughly romantic and lives in a world of unreality. She has harboured idealistic and romantic notions
of war and also about the heroism of Sergius. To her, as to Sergius, war is full of military glory. A soldier

for her is a hero. She also thinks that Sergius is a knight who has performed a wonderful deed by leading
a cavalry charge against the battery of his enemy and putting it to flight. When her mother informs her
of the Bulgarian victory over the Serbs, and the part which Sergius had played in winning this victory,
Raina goes into rapturess. She says: I am so happy, so proud. She thinks that it is the duty of a soldier
to die in the battlefield. From her conversation with Bluntschli it appears that she considers soldiers to
be above physical pains and pleasures, that they neither get hungry, nor feel tired.
Her view of love is equally romantic or unreal. Her love affair with Sergius is purely romantic. The nature
of this love may be discerned from the conversation which takes place between these romantic lovers
on Sergius return from war:
raina [placing her hands on his shoulders as she looks up at him with admiration and worship] My hero !
My king !
sergius. My queen ! [He kisses her on the forehead].
raina. How I have envied you, Sergius ! You have been out in the world, on the field of battle, able to
prove yourself there worthy of any woman in the world; whilst I have had to sit at home inactive
The entire dialogue breathes the very air of romance. There is nothing of realism in it. It is all acting and
posing. This love does not stand on the solid ground of reality with the result that it dies out as soon as
other persons interpose. They search for the divine uweach other, and are blind to the imperfection of
the purely human. Thus, in the end the romantic lovers fall out with each other, as soon as they are
confronted with the weaknesses of each other and are separated. Sergius gives his heart to Louka and
Raina to Bluntschli and their marriages take place in accordance with their new love inclinations.
Raina is not only romantic, she is brave girl too. She is not at all afraid of the nocturnal intruder
(Bluntschli) who threatens her with a pistol in his hand. She keeps her head, and does not show any
nervousness when the soldiers enter her room to search it. She even tells Bluntschli that she is not
afraid to die. Though brave and courageous, she is after all a woman, pitiful and kind. The maternal
instinct is strong in her. Being a healthy and young woman, the Life Force urges her on to find a suitable
mate for the procreation of a breed of potential superman. That is why she instinctively turns to
Bluntschli, who is a man of a superior brain, and so more likely to carry life a step forward on the road to
the evolution of the Shavian superman. She is the instrument for the maternal instinct in her kind and
sympathetic treatment of the Swiss soldier. She is moved to pity on finding the Swiss soldier in the
deepest dejection.
Raina [disarmed by pity] Come: dont be disheartened.
; [She stoops over him almost maternally: he shakes his head].
Oh, you are a very poor soldier: a chocolate cream soldier! Come, cheer up !
And when her mother tries to wake him up, she says, '
Raina [catching her arm] Dont, mamma: the poor darling is worn out. Let him sleep.

This is the beginning of her love for the Swiss. She turns to him because instinctively she realises that he
would make a better father for her children than Sergius.
She is also a clever and tactful girl. When she comes to know that the soldiers demand entrance into her
room, she instantaneously hides the fugitive behind the curtain and then, with a sleepy disturbed air,
opens the door, as if she had been really awakened from sleep and knew nothing of the man. She is
clever enough to give evasive answers to her mother and the Russian officer who interrogates her on
her knowledge of the fugitive. She does not lose the presence of mind even for a moment. She stands
before the curtain and befools the Russian officer who goes away without even doubting the presence
of the fugitive in the room. When Sergius narrates to her the story of the Swiss fugitive having stayed for
the night in a young Bulgarian ladys bedroom, she' hides her confusion, as the story is connected with
herself, by rising up and saying. Your life in the camp has made you coarse, Sergius. I did not think you
would have repeated such a story before me.g The effect of these words is that Sergius feels ashamed
at his mistake, and at once puts a stop to the stoiy. A fine instance of her quick thinking and
inventiveness is the story invented on the spur of the moment about her chocolate toy being broken by
her servant, Nicola, and thus she saves herself from a very awkward situation. On another occasion, she
removes dexterously her photograph from the pocket of the Majors coat, under the pretence of helping
him in putting on the coat.
She also has the usual aristocratic girls vanity with regard to her social status. She proudly tells
Bluntschli that her family is one of the richest and the best-known in the whole country, and that,
furthermore, she belongs to a family which has a library of their own in their house, perhaps the only
library in the whole country. She also tells him that he is not at this time in the house of ignorant village
folk but in the house of a civilized family. She goes on to inform him that her family goes to Bucharest
every year for the opera season, and that she had on one occasion spent one whole month in Vienna.
But Raina on the last page of Arms and the Man is an altogether a different woman from the Raina we
meet on the first or second page of the play, though she is even now as beautiful and young as she was
in the beginning. When the play opens, she is a romantic girl living in a sort of fairyland, but at the close
of the play she has become a practical girl with a strong sense of the realities of life, and fully prepared
to live in the work-a-day world. All her romantic ideas and fancies are shattered. She had imagined war
to be an exciting sport; but she has now come to know its dreadful reality through her talk with one of
the defeated soldiers. As a consequence of all this, her view of war and of heroism in war undergoes a
change. For one thing, she now realizes that a soldier does not always deserve admiration, and that on
most occasions he deserves pity because of the ordeal which he has gone through. A soldier on the
battlefield is a human being subject to fatigue and hunger Secondly, she has realized that mere bravery
and courage are not enough on the battlefield, and that tact and skill is also important. Her fiance had
certainly exhibited his courage and daring, but he had behaved like a madman in ordering a cavalry
charge, without caring for its consequences.
Similarly, reality of love also breaks in upon her. To her love was something grand, something constant,
and something enabling or uplifting. She had thought of love as the higher love which would not allow
her to do a base deed or think a mean thought. But now she understands that love is an earthly passion,
that love can change and alter, and that marriage is a contract between a man and a woman, a contract

which should make the two partners trust each other and,make both of them happy. She has now
discovered that happiness in marriage depends as much on economic security and stability as on die
sentiment of love. She no longer thinks of marriage as the union of a beautiful heroine and a handsome
hero in a life-long romantic dream. She now gives up the showy and fickle Sergius, and takes as her
husband the straightforward and simple Bluntschli whose common sense and six hotels in Switzerland
would provide her with a comfortable life and with a feeling of stability. j
Of course, Raina is the heroine of the play and, therefore, one of the most important character in it. We
meet Raina at the very beginning; and she remains with us when the play ends. She wins the heart of
the hero who is undoubtedly Bluntschli. Raina is important also in so far as she is indispensable to the
exposition of the main theme of the play. The theme of the play is two-fold. The play shows that the
romantic ideas about war are false; and that the romantic ideas of love and marriage are false too. It is
Raina who, at the beginning of the play, cherishes romantic ideas about war and romantic ideas about
love. She is imaginative, fanciful, idealistic, and romantic in the beginning; but, as the action of the play
develops, her illusions about war and about her fiance Sergius are shattered She now realizes that the
real world is absolutely different from the kind of world which she had been imagining. And so at the
end she finds that she has to live in this mundane, work-a-day world. Also Raina contributes greatly to
the comedy of the play by her sarcastic remarks to her mother, by her sarcastic remarks to Sergius
about Louka, and also by her mocking remarks of a miscellaneous kind. On die whole, she is a charming,
almost adorable, woman even though there is some trickery in her nature. She does not only tell lies but
can also pretend and dissemble as, for instance, when she invents the story tihat she had used the
expression chocolate cream soldier for an ornamental figure which she had made for her pudding. Her
own mother says that Raina is not a straightforward kind of girl. On one occasion Catherine tells her
husband that Raina has the abominable habit of waiting for a suitable opportunity to make her
appearance among the persons who have been waiting for her. So Raina does have certain flaws in her
nature; and yet she is one of the finest women in Shaws drama.

Discuss the theme of war in Arms and the Man.

In writing Arms and the Man Shaws purpose was to explode the view that war is a romantic game.
According to him this romantic view of war was based on the idealistic notion that men fight because
they are heroes. The soldier, who takes the biggest risks in war, wins the greatest glory and is the
greatest hero. In Arms and the Man, both Raina and her mother Catherine hold this view of war when
the play opens. Raina is engaged to marry Sergius who has gone to fight against the Serbs. News comes
to Catherine that Sergius has won a great victory over the Serbs by having led a great cavalry charge
against the Serbian. Catherine tells this news to Raina who feels thrilled at the thought that her fiance
has proved himself in the war as a great hero. Mother and daughter embrace each other rapturously.
Catherine describes Sergius as the hero of the hour, and as the idol of his regiment.
However, this romantic view of the heroism of soldiers was soon exploded, when an enemy officer
rushes into Rainas bedroom, tired, exhausted, hungry and frightened. He seemed to Raina most
unheroic. Similarly Sergiuss attack on the Serbs was a great blunder and it could have proved suicidal
for the Bulgarians themselves. Thus Shaw tried to bring out the realities of war. He tried to estabjjh the

fact that superior strategy on the battlefield is more important than physical courage and daring and
also that food is as important to any army as weaponry is. He also tried to tell that soldiers are also
ordinary human beings, they are not Supermans.
Discuss the theme of love in Arms and the Man.
A large majority of young people, who fall in love, live in an imaginaiy world and harbour idealistic
notions of love and marriage. According to them love belongs to the domain of a fairyland. But this kind
of love is only an illusion. Soon these lovers become disillusioned; and this disillusionment generally
follows marriage when both the partners have to face the harsh facts of real life.
In the novel Raina is a romantic girl who, at the opening of the play, stands at the balcony admiring the
beauty of the night. Sergius is her lover and hero. On Sergiuss return from the war, we get a scene of
higher love. They call each other, my Queen, my hero, my King, etc. They are in ecstasy and
cannot live without each other even for a minute. But their higher love, is merely a pose, a sham, a
mockery. As soon as Rainas back is turned, Sergius makes love to Louka, just as Raina made love to
Bluntschli behind his back.
Raina and Sergius have both set each other on high pedestals, but the dramatist reveals the truth about
such romantic adoration. Sergius is not the chivalrous knight which Raina takes him to be. He is proud,
boastful, inefficient, and stupid. He strikes poses and so is easily befooled and entrapped into marriage
by a mere servant girl. Raina also is as much a creation of common clay as Sergius. She tells lies and spies
upon her knight and hero. She strikes poses and her actions are childish, like those of a school girl of
seventeen. Bluntschli sees through her and ridicules her poses, her noble attitudes, and her emotional
thrilling tones.
Thus the love of Raina and Sergius does not stand on the solid ground of reality with the result that it
dies out as soon as other persons interpose. They . search for the divine in each other and are blind to
the imperfection of the purely human. The romantic lovers thus fall out with each other, as soon as they
are confronted with the weaknesses of each other and are separated. Raina gives her heart to Bluntschli
and Sergius to Louka and their marriage take place in accordance with their new love-inclinations.
Write a brief character sketch of Bluntschli.
Bluntschli is the hero of the play, Arms and the Man not only because he wins our admiration and
sympathy but also because he wins the heroine Raina as his wife. Bluntschlis role in the play is
indispensable to the plays theme. Shaw wrote this play to demonstrate the hollowness of certain
beliefs. He wanted to show that the romantic notions about war and love are false. Bluntschlis role in
the play is to shatter the romantic view of war and love.
He is a professional soldier, one who fights for money and not for patriotism. He is realistic through and
through and has no romantic notions either about love and war. He is a matter-of-fact man, practical
and antiromantic to the roots of his being. As a practical man, he faces facts, takes things as they are,
and is opposed to romanticism. In this respect, he is in marked contrast with Sergius and Raina who are

sentimental, romantic, and live in a world of unreality. As he comes face to face with Raina in her
bedroom and exchanges words with her. His views are based on sound reasoning and the facts of life
and so he gradually brings about a change in Rainas mind and heart and converts her to his own views.
Raina at length, sees reason and begins to view things in their true colours.
Bluntschli is an anti-hero, a man of ordinary flesh and blood there being nothing extraordinary or
glorious about him. He not only represents the antiromantic view of war but anti-romantic view of
everything. He is a shrewd man of penetrating insight and quick understanding. His cleverness is
acknowledged by everyone he comes in contact with. His wisdom and cleverness is in fact accepted by
all the characters in the play. He is also sincere and hard-working. Like a typical Shavian hero, for him
duty always come before pleasure.
Bluntschli also serves as a contrast to Sergius and thus brings out the real character of Sergius. In some
occasions he also serves as a contrast to Major Petkoff also, whose inefficiency oecomes almost comic
when seen in the context of Bluntschlis competence.
Write a brief character sketch of Raina Petkoff.
Raina Petkoff is the heroine of the novel. She is a beautiful girl of 23 years. We meet Raina at the very
beginning and she remains with us till the play ends. In the beginning, Raina is a romantic young girl who
cherishes romantic ideas about war and love, but as the play proceeds, her illusions about war and love
are shattered. A soldier for Raina is a hero. She thinks that it is die duty of a soldier to fight heroically or die in the
battlefield. She considers soldiers to be above physical pains and pleasures, that they neither get
hungry, nor feel sleepy. Similarly, jjier love of Sergius is romantic, it is based on unreality. There is
nothing of realism in it. They search for the divine in each other, but fell out with each other, as soon as
they are confronted with the weaknesses of each other and are separated.
Rainas attention is arrested by Bluntschli, who is a realistic man, full of sparkling wit. He brings her soon
to the realistic views of life. She soon realises that the duty of a soldier is to live as long as he can and
that food, is equally important on the battlefield like ammunition. She also finds that the real world is
absolutely different from the kind of world she had been imagining. She no longer thinks of marriage as
fee union of a beautiful heroine and a handsome hero in a life-long romantic dream. Thus in fee end, she
gives up fee showy and fickle Sergius and marries fee straightforward and simple Bluntschli.
Write a brief character sketch of Sergius.
In fee beginning, Sergius seems to be fee hero of fee play. He is a Major in fee Bulgarian army and as fee
play opens we hear about him. Catherine tells Raina feat fee Bulgarians have won a great victory over
fee Serbs andSergius is the architect of that victory. Both mother and daughter are thrilled over this

Sergius Saranoff is a thorough romantic and lives in a world of unreality. Thus he has a romantic view of
life. To him war is full of glory and a soldier is a hero. He goes to war like a true knight and in his own
opinion performs a wonderful deed of bravery in leading a cavalry charge against the machine guns of
the enemy and putting them to flight. In reality it was an act of madness and as Bluntschli puts it, he
ought to have been court-martialled for it. His notions of love are equally unreal and unromantic. To
Sergius, Raina is the lady who inspires him to perform glorious deeds. His love is based on the illusion
that Raina is a model of perfection and so can have no human weaknesses.
Sergius is a fool, having no penetration or understanding. All are able to see through him. He is
conceited and thinks highly of himself. Though he has committed the greatest blunder on the
battlefield, he thinks he has done a deed of great heroism. Similarly, as soon as Rainas back is turned
towards him, he flirts with her maid-servant, Louka. The result is that he is caught in the trap laid for him
by Louka and becomes a mere puppet in her hands and ultimately marries her.
However, he does possess some common sense and some of his remarks are full of wisdom. By the time
the play ends, he has been cured of some of his illusions and definitely he is a much improved version of
the original Sergius.
Bring out the dramatic significance of the Chocolate Cream Soldier episode.
Chocolate Cream Soldier is Bluntschli in the play and this nickname is used for Bluntschli by Raina. In
the whole play Raina uses this nickname three times. First in Act I, Bluntschli enters Rainas bedroom,
chased by the Bulgarian soldiers. He is exhausted and hungry. He tells Raina that he always carries
chocolates to the front, instead of cartridge and that as he is starving he would like to have some at the
time, Raina gives him some chocolates and nicknames him Chocolate Cream Soldier.
In Act II, Bluntschli comes back to return the coat of Major Petkoff in which he was sent away disguised.
As soon as Raina sees him she impulsively exclaims, Oh ! my Chocolate Cream Soldier. Further in Act III,
the photograph of Raina episode occurs. Raina has put her photograph in Bluntschlis pocket with the
inscription From Raina, to the Chocolate Cream Soldier, a Souvenir on it in Act I. Major Petkoffs
suspicion is aroused. Explanation follows and consequently Louka gets Sergius and Raina is engaged to
her Chocolate Cream Soldier.
This episode vividly brings out the truth that in war food is as important as ammunition. It also imparts
comic relief. Also it ties up all the loose ends of the play and brings about a happy conclusion.
Bring out the dramatic significance of Sergius-Louka episode.
Sergius-Louka episode in Arms and the Man is of essential dramatic significance. Sergius is the fiance of
Raina, the heroine of the play and Louka is her maid-servant. Sergius flirts with Louka as soon as Rainas
back is turned. Encouraged by his flirtation Louka tells Sergius that Rainas lover is a Swiss soldier
Bluntschli and that if he ever returns, Raina is sure to marry him. On hearing this Sergius is enraged and
promises Louka that he would marry her, if he ever again touched her. But later in the play she is found
eaves-dropping and dragged on by Sergius. Louka defends herself and Bluntschli supports her. Louka

asks Sergius to apologise to her and Sergius kisses the wound he had caused on her arm. At once Louka
reminds him of his promise to marry her and thus Sergius is trapped.
Thus this episode exposes the hollowness of higher love. It also reveals the intelligence of Louka and the
stupidity of Sergius. This episode also enabled the dramatist to satirise social snobbery. Notions of social
superiority are false. Servants are made of the same clay as their masters. '
Bring out the dramatic significance of Major Petkoffs coat episode.
Major PetkofiPs old coat plays an important role in the play ylms and the Man. In Act I, Bluntschli enters
Rainas bedroom as a fugitive chased by Bulgarian soldiers. Raina takes pity on him and even permits
him to stay in her room for the night. Next morning, he is smuggled out of the home disguised in an old
coat of Major PetkofF. Raina places in the pocket of the coat her photograph with the words, Raina, to
her Chocolate Cream Soldier: a Souvenirwritten on it.
In Act II, Bluntschli comes back to return the coat, but in reality to have another look at the young lady,
Raina. Major Petkoff in the mean time feels uneasy in the new, coat and complains that he could not
find his old coat in the closet. Nicola, the servant, by his tact returns with the old coat. Major Petkoff
wears it but soon complains that someone has been wearing his coat, for it has all burst open at the
back. Catherine mends it but not before Major had seen the photograph of Raina. Raina tactfully takes
out the photograph but in Act III, Major Petkoff misses the photograph and demands explanation.
Explanation follows and it becomes clear that Rainas Chocolate Cream Soldier is Bluntschli, not Sergius.
Finally Raina is engaged to her Chocolate Cream Soldier.
Thus this episode not only express the hollowness of romantic love but also brings out the impulsive
nature of Raina. Only an inexperienced school girl would have written such words on her photograph
and given it to a total stranger. The episode also ties up the loose ends and bring the play to a happy
Bring out the dramatic significance of Louka-Nicola episode.
Louka and Nicola are the two servants of Major PetkofTs household. They are engaged to be married.
They are first seen together in Act II. Nicola advises Louka to behave respectfully towards her mistress,
but she does not listen to his advice. On the contrary, she tells him that he has the soul of a servant
while she aspires to become a grand lady.
Second time they meet in Act III. Nicola again gives her sound advice and tells her to mend her manners.
He tells her that he knows that she has a soul above her station and wishes to marry some wealthy man
of rank, such as Sergius. (le also says that he will like to see her a rich lady rather than make her his wife,
for as a wife she would cost him only money, while as a rich lady her recommendation for the success of
his business will be appreciable. This further shows Nicolas servile mentality.
Towards the close of the play when Sergius declares his love of Louka and discloses his intentions to
marry her, Major Petkoff objects saying that the girl was engaged to Nicola. But Nicola comes forward

and sets the matters right by saying that they are not engaged to each other and it was said so only to
give Louka protection. After this explanation, Louka is free to marry Sergius. Thus this episode is very
interesting and amusing as well.
Discuss some of the Shavian themes of Shaw.
In the course of his long dramatic career, Shaw has expressed himself practically on every subject
between heaven and earthliterature, art, medicine, religion, politics, morality, marriage and family
relations, racial prejudices, poverty and social standards. In fact, his plays are so many sermons on social
follies and social vices.
In other words the themes of Shaw are bewildering in their variety. His theory of Life Force is purposive.
The purpose of the Life Force is to evolve into higher and higher forms of life. It does not aim at creating
greater beauty or physical prowess, but at higher forms of intelligence. Then Shaw is socialist. He knows
that unless all have equality in every field, the Life Force will not be able to move upward. Socialism is
desirable for it makes easy the evolutionary function of the Life Force.
Next Shaw exercised his imagination on the problems of family, love, marriage and sex-relations
extensively. He objects to marriage and family because these are based on false economics and false
biology. He is also against womens dependence on man for it defeats the very purpose of Life Force.
According to him marriage is based on falsehood and sentimentality. Decency and Respectability are
mere pretensions to cover up that falsehood.
Shaw attacked in one play after another the ponderous machinery of law and justice, for it, too, is based
on false economics and false biology. A selected few control the legal and political machinery and
corrupt it. His theory of Life Force and his Socialism also explains his aversion to the science of medicine.
Doctors live on disease just as charity lives on poverty. On religion his views are often irreligious.
Creative Evolution is Shaws religion and it is oriented by his economics. Money is the most important
thing in the world because a sound and successful morality can be built up only on the basis of money.
So long as there is no socialism with adequate incomes for all, there can be no real religion.
Thus Shaws great men are all naturally good. They are realistic, have a fixity of purpose and are hard
working. They are original, magnanimous, impartial and rational because they have risen above the
passion of love and hatred.