Arms and the Man Analysis

8135 WordsOct 17, 201333 Pages
Arms and the Man: Act 2 Summary of Act II It is March 6, 1886 in the garden of the Petkoff house. On a spring morning the laundry is spread on the bushes to dry, and breakfast is served on an outdoor table. Louka is defiantly smoking a cigarette in view of the house, speaking to a middle-aged servant, Nicola, an intelligent and calculating man, deferential to his employers. Nicola warns the young Louka not to be rebellious in her ways or she will be fired. Nicola is engaged to Louka but says he cannot marry her if she disgraces the house. His dream is to save enough money to open a shop in Sofia, but in any case, he is dependent on the good will of the Petkoff family. Louka upbraids him for cowardice; she knows family secrets that the Petkoffs would not like told. Nicola explains that they could destroy her reputation so that no one would believe her stories. He also knows family secrets, secrets that would ruin Raina’s engagement. Louka says she will never have the soul of a servant as Nicola does. Just then they hear a knock on the gate; it is Major Petkoff, Raina’s father, home from the war. He is a cheerful man of fifty, and sits down to breakfast in the garden. Louka brings him coffee and brandy. Catherine comes out to greet her husband; he says the war is over, and the command to demobilize the army has come. They chat about household affairs, and Catherine announces they now have an electric bell in the library to call the servants. Petkoff sees nothing wrong in shouting for the servants. Sergius comes in the gate just then and Petkoff asks his wife to keep Sergius from bothering him about a promotion. Catherine says he deserves a promotion, but Petkoff tells her no one will promote a foolhardy officer like Sergius to be a general unless there is a lasting peace. Sergius comes into the garden, with the cynical air of someone who has become
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