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ARMS AND THE MAN (English) (Paperback): Book by BERNARD SHAW

ARMS AND THE MAN (English) (Paperback)

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ISBN: 9788170262312    Publisher: HERITAGE PUBLISHERS Year of publishing: 2009     Format:  Paperback No of Pages: 114        Language: English
The play takes place during the 1885 Serbo-Bulgarian War. Its heroine Raina (rah-EE-na) Petkoff is a young Bulgarian woman engaged to Sergius Saranoff one of the heroes of that war whom she idealizes....Read more
The play takes place during the 1885 Serbo-Bulgarian War. Its heroine Raina (rah-EE-na) Petkoff is a young Bulgarian woman engaged to Sergius Saranoff one of the heroes of that war whom she idealizes. One night a Swiss voluntary soldier in the Serbian army Bluntschli bursts through her bedroom window and begs her to hide him so that he is not killed. Raina complies though she thinks the man a coward especially when he tells her that he does not carry pistol cartridges but chocolates. When the battle dies down Raina and her mother sneak Bluntschli out of the house disguised in an old housecoat. The war ends and Sergius returns to Raina but also flirts with her insolent servant girl Louka (a soubrette role) who they think is engaged to the loyal house servant Nicola. Raina begins to find Sergius both foolhardy and tiresome but she hides it. Bluntschli unexpectedly returns so that he can give back the old housecoat but also so that he can see her. Raina and her mother are shocked especially when her father and Sergius reveal that they have met Bluntschli before and invite him to stay for lunch and to help them with troop movements. Afterwards left alone with Bluntschli Raina realizes that he sees through her romantic posturing but that he respects her as a woman as Sergius does not. She tells him that she had left a portrait of herself in the pocket of the coat inscribed 'To my chocolate-cream soldier ' but Bluntschli says that he didn't find it and that it must still be in the coat pocket.Bluntschli gets a note informing him of his fathers death and revealing to him his enomorous wealth. Louka then tells Sergius that Bluntschli is the man who Raina protected and that Raina is really in love with him so Sergius challenges him to a duel but the men avoid fighting and Sergius and Raina break off their engagement (with some relief on both sides). Raina's father discovers the portrait in the pocket of his housecoat but Raina and Bluntschli trick him by taking out the portrait before he finds it again and only tell him that his mind is playing tricks on him. After Bluntschli reveals the whole story to Major Petkoff Sergius proposes marriage to Louka (to Mrs. Petkoff's horror). Nicola quietly and gallantly lets Sergius have her and Bluntschli recognising Nicola's dedication and ability determines to offer him a job as a hotel manager. News arrives that Bluntschli's father has just died leaving him a grand inheritance of Swiss luxury hotels. Raina having realized the hollowness of her romantic ideals and her fiancé's values protests that she would prefer her poor 'chocolate-cream soldier' to this wealthy businessman. Bluntschli says that he is still the same person and the play ends with Raina proclaiming her love for him and Bluntschli with Swiss precision both clearing up the major's troop movement problems and informing everyone that he will return to be married to Raina exactly two weeks from Tuesday.
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About the author: BERNARD SHAW
George Bernard Shaw (26 July 1856 2 November 1950) was an Irish playwright. Although Shaw's first profitable writing was music and literary criticism... Read more
George Bernard Shaw (26 July 1856 2 November 1950) was an Irish playwright. Although Shaw's first profitable writing was music and literary criticism his talent was for drama and he wrote more than 60 plays. Nearly all his writings deal sternly with prevailing social problems but have a vein of comedy to make their stark themes more palatable. Shaw examined education marriage religion government health care and class privilege and found them all defective. He was most angered by the exploitation of the working class and most of his writings censure that abuse. An ardent socialist Shaw wrote many brochures and speeches for the Fabian Society. He became an accomplished orator in the furtherance of its causes which included gaining equal political rights for men and women alleviating abuses of the working class rescinding private ownership of productive land and promoting healthful lifestyles. Shaw married Charlotte Payne-Townshend a fellow Fabian whom he survived. They settled in Ayot St. Lawrence in a house now called Shaw's Corner. Shaw died there aged 94 from chronic problems exacerbated by injuries he incurred by falling. He is the only person to have been awarded both the Nobel Prize for Literature (1925) and an Oscar (1938). These were for his contributions to literature and for his work on the film Pygmalion respectively. Shaw wanted to refuse his Nobel Prize outright because he had no desire for public honors but accepted it at his wife's behest: she considered it a tribute to Ireland. He did reject the monetary award requesting it be used to finance translation of Swedish books to English.
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