1 Answer | Add Yours
The man who climbs the rain-pipe to enter Raina's bed-chamber through the balcony is a professional soldier serving the Serbian artillery in the battle of Slivnitza that Bulgaria wins over Serbia. Raina's betrothed lover, Sergius Saranoff, leads the victorious cavalry-charge against the enemy artillery battery to register an amazing victory. The man, Captain Bluntschli, is a fugitive who takes shelter in Raina's room, being chased by the Bulgarians amidst gun-shots and hot pursuits.
Raina Petkoff, the daughter of the Bulgarian Major, is a young woman of romantic-sentimental disposition, retires to bed, after having worshipped Sergius, 'the hero of Slivnitza', as her 'soul's hero'. Bluntschli breaks into her privacy at the dead of night to give her the real story of the battle and the Quixotic cavalry-charge which has earned Sergius such a miraculous victory. The account of how foolishly the Bulgarian cavalry charged at the Serbian artillery and won the battle only because the Serbian artillery was supplied with wrong ammunition immediately de-romanticized Raina's long-cherished notion of heroism in battle. The man being the typical Shavian anti-hero, mocks at the military victory spearheaded by Raina's iconic lover, and also mocks at the whole idea of patriotism, heroism and glory in the field of battle. Such apparently cynical observations as 'Nine soldiers out of ten are born fools' expose the hollowness of the traditional myth of warfare, and compel the wax-doll like Raina to come face to face with the hard realities of battle-lines. The professional soldier tells Raina about the need of chocolates(i.e. food) rather than cartridges in battles.
Raina's midnight chance encounter with the fugitive soldier thus disillusions the young woman about the romance & heroism long associated with wars.The encounter initiates a process that culminates in Raina's rejection of Sergius and the emergence of the Shavian ideologue in Bluntschli.
We’ve answered 319,863 questions. We can answer yours, too.Ask a question