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Arms and the Man

George Bernard Shaw




The “chocolate cream soldier” is the driving force of the plot. Bluntschli is a rationalist, meaning a man who believes in reacting to situations based on the facts, not on what is good versus what is bad. This does not mean that Bluntschli is immaculate. Bluntschli’s pragmatism entails that he will expect himself, sometimes, to behave irrationally, or to become afraid. He knows that he loves Raina passionately, but he is willing to suppress these feelings when he feels the match is impossible. When Bluntschli realizes Raina is a potential match for him, he does away with his scruples and carries forward. Bluntschli demonstrates a mode of life that is not divorced from passion or unreason, but that takes these feelings into account. This, more than anything, is what seems to inspire such devotion from the other characters at the end of the play. Sergius in particular is taken by Bluntschli’s command of himself. Bluntschli’s ability to expertly navigate the social interactions with the Petkoff family enable him to have come out on top.

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by MariaDPettiford, November 02, 2017

Arms and the Man is a comedy by George Bernard Shaw, whose title comes from the opening words of Virgil's Aeneid, in Latin: Arma virumque cano.

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Arms and the Man