Question: Discuss the difference between Louka and Raina.
G.B. Shaw (1856-1950) is as genius as William Shakespeare in respect of creating lady characters in his plays. In one of the famous plays “Arms and the Man” Raina and Louka are such characters who possess paramount significance in the galaxy of English drama. They are distinct from each other in a number of aspects.
Raina belongs to an upper-class Bulgarian family and she is the only affectionate daughter of Major Petkoff. On the other hand, Louka belongs to a working family and she is the maid of Raina.
More Notes of Drama
Beauty and appearance
Both Raina and Louka are beautiful and have a very beautiful physical appearance but they are somehow different. At the very outset of the play, it is noticed that Shaw has compared Raina’s beauty with nature. On the other hand, Louka’s beauty is not mentioned in such a way but she a beautiful looking overall.
In respect of intelligence, both are different since they are different in their way of life. Louka is subservient to Raina but she is able to lead an aristocratic like life by the dint of her intelligence. Louka has to satisfy all the characters of the drama to secure her aristocratic desire.
Presence of mind
Raina has a lack of presence of mind that is evident by the bedroom act of the drama when she is exploited by the realist man of the drama Bluntschli who snatches away her nightdress. On the contrary, Louka’s observation proves that she is woman of shrewd intelligence and presence of mind. There was a pistol without a cartridge in front of the Russian soldiers in Raina’s bedroom. Nobody could notice it but Louka’s eyes are like falcons.
Concept of war
Raina has a romantic concept for war and is really obsessed with heroism of Sergius. She is found as the blind lady without knowing the destruction of war. On the other hand, Louka is a foil to Raina as we do not get any romantic attitude of Louka about war.
Concept of marriage and love
Raina believes in a higher concept of love. She thinks that the higher concept of love will bring endless happy married life for her but her concept is collapsed when she sees that Sergius is shamelessly making sensational love with her maid Louka.
Louka’s concept of love and marriage is out and out different from Raina. She is ambitious to marry someone who is not working-class man. She believes in sensational controlling power of love that is why the Byronic Hero Sergius is crazy for Louka.
Twist in both of them
It is the mystery of the world that ladies are always mystic. Raina has a bad habit of overhearing that is disdained by her mother Catherine and is liked by her father Major Petkoff who thinks his daughter is always punctual. By the end of the drama, when Sergius chooses Louka as his life partner, Raina remains unmoved which is really surprising for the audience, but the truth is that she is already engaged with his dream man Chocolate Cream Soldier Bluntschli.
Louka is more advance than Raina in respect of twist role. She informs Sergius to create a distance between Raina and Sergius that Raina flirts with Bluntschli in absence of him like he flirts with me. From this the plot of the drama gets twist about the ending. All the characters of the drama cannot feel even for a moment that the candidates of marriage will be reversed. Thus, Raina and Louka are similar but the difference in their activities.
From the light of the above discussion, it can be asserted that Raina and Louka are the token of the female of the world. through their character, Shaw has been able to see that marital happiness does not depend on status, rather it is a matter of understanding and realization.