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Louka is a maid in the house who desperately wants to improve her status in society by marrying above her class. Nicola, also a servant, tells Louka she shouldn't try to be more than what she is, but Louka doesn't accept his fatalistic attitude. Louka sees a chance to rise above her servant status when she and Sergius, Raina's fiance, find themselves attracted to each other. Sergius is a member of the gentry, an officer and a gentleman, so he's expected to marry someone who is at least his equal. Sergius shamelessly flirts with Louka when no one else is around. Out of desperation, Louka tries to break up Raina's engagement to Sergius, showing her willingness to do just about anything to get what she wants. As a servant, Louka should never speak to Sergius the way she does, but she shames him for flirting with her and pretending to care for Raina. Then she tells him that Raina's feelings for him are fake also and that Raina cares for someone else. Most people would consider this betrayal on Louka's part, and Catherine accuses Louka and Sergius both of shaming Raina when Nicola tells them that he and Louka aren't engaged, so Louka can marry Sergius. Even if Raina does care for another man, Louka's actions are unacceptable in a society where the class lines are rigidly drawn. She literally risks everything by interfering in Raina's life and having the audacity to marry beyond her limits.
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