Arms and the Man (Act-2) Summary
The second Act begins in the garden of Major Petkoff’s house on the sixth of March, 1886. The man- servant Nicola is introduced. He is a servant with no will of his own but is an accurate calculator. He has his eye on his personal gain. He is giving some advice to Louka, the maid-servant. He wishes that she should not defy the mistress and should be respectful because it is in his own interest too. If she quarrels with the family and is turned out he will not be able to marry her. Louka is haughty because she knows some family secrets and they can’t quarrel with her. Nicola tells her that high people have great power over them and he too knows secrets about everyone.
Major Petkoff is back from the war. Catherine is not pleased to hear of peace. She wished that Serbia were annexed. When she tells him about her sore throats, he says that it comes from washing every day. His father never had a bath in his life and he himself didn’t mind a bath once a week. Their conversation shows that they are trying to look civilized.
Sergius knocks at the gate. Nicola ushers him in. Catherine receives him with pride and affection. Sergius is unhappy because he has not been promoted. He says that he won the battle the wrong way. He has resigned. Raina comes as soon as Sergius asks for her. She welcome her father. They talk of the Swiss officer in the Serbian army. He had cheated them at negotiations after the fighting was over. He had also told one of his friends that two women had hidden him after he escaped from the battle and sent him off disguised in an old coat belonging to the master of the house. Sergius tells them the whole story. Raina and Catherine show their displeasure with Sergius for telling such a story before them.
Raina and Sergius
Petkoff then wants to discuss with Sergius how to get back three regiments to Philippoplis. Catherine forces Sergius to pass some time with Raina. Their meeting is highly emotional. It is a scene of the higher love. Each wishes to worship the other. They are disturbed by the arrival of Louka. Raina suggests that they should go out for some time and goes out to get her hat.
Sergius and Louka
Sergius is at once attracted towards Louka. He takes her hand and takes her to the stableyard gateway. Louka begins to estrange him from Raina. She tells him that Raina spies about after him and makes love to another person in his absence. She tells him that she never saw the man; she only heard his voice through the door of her room. The mistress also knew about it. He grips her above the elbows so hard that her hand is bruised. He apologizes but she wishes him to kiss the bruise. He refuses to do so. Raina comes to take him off.
Just as Sergius and Raina are about to depart, Catherine comes and requests Sergius to go to Petkoff in the library and help him about those three regiments. Sergius goes. Catherine asks Raina about that Swiss officer. Raina’s replies show that she likes him better than Sergius. Louka comes and tells them that’s Serbian officer has called. He asks for the lady of the house. From his card they find that he is Captain Bluntschli, a Swiss. Catherine Knows that he has come to return the coat. She is very much perplexed. She tells Louka to bring him there unseen by Petkoff in the library and tell Nicola to bring his bag there after him. She forces Bluntschi to go away at once. As he is about to depart Petkoff comes and welcomes him very heartily. He had seen Bluntschli the window. He takes him to the library for his advice about the three cavalry that are to be sent to Philippopolis. Raina comes and exclaims, “Oh The chocolate cream soldier” The next moment she explain herself that she had made a beautiful ornament for the ice pudding and Nicola had spoilt it. Bluntschli is forced to stay.
English Literature— Important links
- Major Works of George Bernard Shaw
- B. Shaw’s Theory of Life-Force
- Walt Whitman as a Poet (Essay) and his Works
- O Captain! My Captain!- Critical Appreciation
- Rabindranath Tagore as a Poet of Nature
- Background, Casually (by Nissim Ezekiel)- Introduction & Summary
- Keats as a Writer of Odes- Characteristics & Structure of his Ode
- “The Flute player of Brindaban”- Summary, Analysis & Explanation
- “Ode To a Nightingale” By John Keats- Stanza wise Summary
- Ode to a Nightingale- Stanza-wise Explanation & Analysis
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