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1/29/2019

Describe the Bed Room Episode of "Arms and The Man"

11.  Narrate the first meeting scene between Raina and Bluntschli of Arms and the Man.      Ans.  Arms and the Man is a typical Shavian anti-romantic comedy built up around the escape of the Swiss officer who takes shelter in Raina’s bedroom in order to save his life. So the first meeting between Raina and Bluntschli is dramatically very important. Here Shaw expresses his realistic attitude towards war and love. It helps the plot to move further and sets up the platform of his anti-romantic attitude towards love and marriage.    Being defeated at the battle of Slivnitza, the Swiss officer, Bluntschli fled from the battle-field. While crossing the streets at night he climbs the waterpipe to reach Raina’s balconly and enters her bedroom to save his life from the hands of the Bulgarian soldiers. He threatens that if she shouts he will shoot her and assures her that if she does not। shout he will do no harm to her. He tells her that if he is caught he will be killed by the Bulgarian soldiers. But he wants to live as long as he can. At that time Raina was in her night dress and her cloak was lying on the ottoman. He takes the possession of her cloak on the point of his pistol so that she does not allow anybody to enter her room in her present half-dressed position. But when the Bulgarians knock the door and want to break it to enter the room, he gives Raina her cloak so that she may appear before the soldiers in proper dress. She assures to save his life. She hides him behind the curtain. When the Russian officer enters to search the room, she stands with her back to the curtain where he is hidden. The officer fails to discover him and leaves the room politely.      Bluntschli then comes out of the hiding and expresses his gratitude towards her. He tells her that he is a professional soldier. He is a Swiss fighting for the Serbs. He also tells her what is true about war and soldiering. He tells her that he always carries chocolate instead of cartridge in the battle field. He tries his best to make her realise that food is more useful than ammunition in the battle field. She gives him chocolates as he was very hungry.    Bluntschli also gives her the idea of Sergius’ cavalry charge. He says that Sergius acts as an utter fool in leading the cavalry charge because if the Serbians had the right kind of ammunition, the Bulgarians could be massacred. At one point he falls asleep on her bed out of exhaustion. She lets him sleep there. In the morning he is given the old coat of Major Petkoff to leave the house in disguise. While the coat is given to him, Raina puts her photograph in the pocket of the coat with the inscription; “Raina to her Chocolate Cream Soldier: a Souvenir.”    The bedroom episode is very significant because it forms the foundation of the action of the play.    This episode creates comic irony because we see later in the play that Petkoff and Sergius come to know from one of Bluntschli’s friends that a Bulgarian lady has given him shelter in her bedroom at midnight, but they do not know that the very Bulgarian lady is Raina herself.  The coat given to Bluntschli produces amusement and helps the plot to move further. Bluntschli comes back to the house to return the coat. It helps him to meet with Raina again. Petkoff does not find the coat in the blue closet. When he is given the coat he noticed Raina’s photograph in its pocket. He discloses inscription on the photo and declares that Sergius may be the chocolate cream soldier, not knowing that her daughter is drawn to Bluntschli.  This episode makes Raina realise that all her romantic ideas about war and heroism are mere illusions. Bluntschli cures of her illusions and draws her to him.  This episode helps Louka to fulfil her ambition of marrying a man above her station. In this episode she becomes sure of someone’s presence in Raina’s bedroom at midnight seeing a pistol on the divan. Later in the play, she utilises this knowledge to entrap Sergius.    Thus this episode is very important for the development of characters and action of the play.



  Arms and the Man is a typical Shavian anti-romantic comedy built up around the escape of the Swiss officer who takes shelter in Raina’s bedroom in order to save his life. So the first meeting between Raina and Bluntschli is dramatically very important. Here Shaw expresses his realistic attitude towards war and love. It helps the plot to move further and sets up the platform of his anti-romantic attitude towards love and marriage.

Being defeated at the battle of Slivnitza, the Swiss officer, Bluntschli fled from the battle-field. While crossing the streets at night he climbs the waterpipe to reach Raina’s balconly and enters her bedroom to save his life from the hands of the Bulgarian soldiers. He threatens that if she shouts he will shoot her and assures her that if she does not। shout he will do no harm to her. He tells her that if he is caught he will be killed by the Bulgarian soldiers. But he wants to live as long as he can. At that time Raina was in her night dress and her cloak was lying on the ottoman. He takes the possession of her cloak on the point of his pistol so that she does not allow anybody to enter her room in her present half-dressed position. But when the Bulgarians knock the door and want to break it to enter the room, he gives Raina her cloak so that she may appear before the soldiers in proper dress. She assures to save his life. She hides him behind the curtain. When the Russian officer enters to search the room, she stands with her back to the curtain where he is hidden. The officer fails to discover him and leaves the room politely.

  Bluntschli then comes out of the hiding and expresses his gratitude towards her. He tells her that he is a professional soldier. He is a Swiss fighting for the Serbs. He also tells her what is true about war and soldiering. He tells her that he always carries chocolate instead of cartridge in the battle field. He tries his best to make her realise that food is more useful than ammunition in the battle field. She gives him chocolates as he was very hungry.

Bluntschli also gives her the idea of Sergius’ cavalry charge. He says that Sergius acts as an utter fool in leading the cavalry charge because if the Serbians had the right kind of ammunition, the Bulgarians could be massacred. At one point he falls asleep on her bed out of exhaustion. She lets him sleep there. In the morning he is given the old coat of Major Petkoff to leave the house in disguise. While the coat is given to him, Raina puts her photograph in the pocket of the coat with the inscription; “Raina to her Chocolate Cream Soldier: a Souvenir.”

The bedroom episode is very significant because it forms the foundation of the action of the play.

  1. This episode creates comic irony because we see later in the play that Petkoff and Sergius come to know from one of Bluntschli’s friends that a Bulgarian lady has given him shelter in her bedroom at midnight, but they do not know that the very Bulgarian lady is Raina herself.
  2. The coat given to Bluntschli produces amusement and helps the plot to move further. Bluntschli comes back to the house to return the coat. It helps him to meet with Raina again. Petkoff does not find the coat in the blue closet. When he is given the coat he noticed Raina’s photograph in its pocket. He discloses inscription on the photo and declares that Sergius may be the chocolate cream soldier, not knowing that her daughter is drawn to Bluntschli.
  3. This episode makes Raina realise that all her romantic ideas about war and heroism are mere illusions. Bluntschli cures of her illusions and draws her to him.
  4. This episode helps Louka to fulfil her ambition of marrying a man above her station. In this episode she becomes sure of someone’s presence in Raina’s bedroom at midnight seeing a pistol on the divan. Later in the play, she utilises this knowledge to entrap Sergius.

Thus this episode is very important for the development of characters and action of the play.

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