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What is a theme in Arms and the Man? Is this theme optimistic or pessimistic?

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sumathimaeng | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 28, 2007 at 5:03 PM via web

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What is a theme in Arms and the Man? Is this theme optimistic or pessimistic?

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sagetrieb | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted November 28, 2007 at 7:18 PM (Answer #1)

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A romantic comedy about war, this play subverts both romance and war, which the subtitle, "An Anti-romance," indicates.  Not only does Shaw make fun of romance between men and women but he also satirizes the so-called noble reasons countries go to war. As he does in other play, Shaw connects social issues, such as war and relationships between men and women, to capitalism, showing how the latter drives the former.  At the time he wrote this play people glorified war as something Honorable (with a capital H), but he revealed it to be a rather sleazy enterprise, dependent upon businesses that want to make money.


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perfumescent | Student, College Freshman | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted June 15, 2008 at 6:53 AM (Answer #2)

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I believe that is one of the most important theme in the play is Modernism , and this theme could be clarified through some points mentioned in the play as follow :

The writer represents to us the nature of war which is destructive , and he also tries to domenstrate the rights of women , women can choose their husbands, despite the class distinctions.

The writer also mentions some inventions for example , photography , electrical bell.

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farwla | Student, College Freshman | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted June 25, 2011 at 12:14 PM (Answer #3)

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The main themes of the play are:

War and love/ marriage. These two themes are unmasked or dealt with by Shaw in order topresent the genuine picture about these two concepts in society

Also, we have subthemes or sub idea or secondary idea  that Shaw wanted to speak about in his play and one of them the class division

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