Arms and the Man

by: George Bernard Shaw

Louka

Louka, the female servant, is another character who is willing to leverage what she knows in order to get what she wants. Louka admits to Nicola that she knows far more about the Petkoff family than they would like. Nicola is scandalized that she would trade in gossip to gain power over the Petkoffs, but for Louka this is not a moral calculation, it’s a practical one. Louka figures that if Nicola wants to remain a servant, he will, because he knows the rules of that game. But Louka wants to change the game itself and move up in the social hierarchy. This involves the violation of norms typical for servant life. It is Louka’s aspiration toward social rank that enables her to manipulate Sergius, who seemed at first to be manipulating her, and to arrange for a marriage that will make her a lady.


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