Arms and the Man Questions and Answers
by George Bernard Shaw

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Why does Nicola call Louka a foolish girl?

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Nicola thinks Louka is being irrational, acting in ways that undermine her personal goals. He sees that she aspires to climb the social ladder. She is interested in marrying her way into a higher social position. But she lets her rebelliousness and dissatisfaction show in ways that will turn off aristocrats and gentlefolk.

By being openly rude to Nicola ("sharp and impudent"), she doesn't give the impression that she is his social superior. On the contrary, she creates the appearance that she is on intimate terms with her fellow servant. We don't usually take such liberties with people unless we're close to them:

"[I]mpudence is a sort of familiarity: it shews affection for me…"


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