Are the following lines, from Arms and the Man, idealistic or realistic?1.  "Ugh! But I don't believe the first man is a coward.  I know he is a hero!" 2.  "And don't be so ready to defy...

Are the following lines, from Arms and the Man, idealistic or realistic?

1.  "Ugh! But I don't believe the first man is a coward.  I know he is a hero!"

2.  "And don't be so ready to defy everybody.  Act as if you expected to have your own way, not as if you expected to be ordered about.  The way to get on as a lady is the same as the way to get on as a servant:  you've got to know your place; that's the secret of it."

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amarang9 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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These lines are from George Bernard Shaw's Arms and the Man. The first line is from the first act. Raina is defending Sergius, her future husband. She has a romanticized, idealist notion of Sergius as a hero even though he is described as a foolish, quixotic fighter. This is an idealist sentiment and it results partially from a glorification of war. 

The second line is spoken by Nicola in the third act and it is decidedly realistic. He is trying to tell Louka to accept the fact that social classes and positions are set in stone. Louka is an idealist and does not believe that upward mobility is impossible. Nicola, out of fear and out of realistic and defeatist acceptance of social "realities," advises her to know her place. Earlier in Act III, Louka notes the difference between herself and Nicola. "You were born to be a servant. I was not." 

Louka is an idealist. Nicola is a realist. 

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