Arms and the Man, George Bernard Shaw is a comedy, the plays opening scene is in “late November in the year 1885” (p.101) which is also the time of act one. Act two is in “the sixth of March, 1886” (p.119).
In both of these acts many details are revealed to the audiences, indicating that Raina is not really in love with Sergius. For example:
In the opening scene Raina has a conversation with her mother, Catherine. Raina is doubts that Sergius is the hero. She is not sure that he can even be a hero. If he is not her own hero how can he be a war hero?
When the Man comes into her room and talks badly of her fiancé, as if he was the “blackguards of his army”(p.107)—describing him as the most disgusting and horrible part of the army. Raina does not tell him staright away to watch his words because he is her fiancé, she doesn’t protect him, or protect what others think of him. This clearly shows that she does not really care about what others think of him. Moreover, she does not feel the need to tell him that it is her fiancé he it talking about because maybe she liked the idea that there could be another mysterious man in her life, similar with all the romantic books she reads. She also allowed the man to flirt with her, and might of even flirted back.
In act two Sergius comes back from the war as the “hero”, and it takes a couple of minutes until Raina is shown. And when she does show up, “he drops chivalrously on one knee and kisses it.”(p.126). They are imagining that they both in the middle of a romantic scene in a novel. They think that the way in which the characters act in a novel is the same in real life. I believe that if they were truly in love they would run to each others arms as soon as they heard that they are home and not wait and talk small talk with others, as Sergius did.
Like in real life, one cannot be in love with two people. They cannot be attracted to both the fire and the water, light and dark—it must be one or the other. When Petkoff talks about how it was in the war, he mentioned one Swiss he came across, and Raina asks straight away “what was he like?” (p.127). at this point of the play, she might have not realized that she likes him, the Swiss soldier. She should not have asked how he was like if she didn’t want to know.
When Raina and Sergius are left alone, they act again, not realizing that the other person is also acting. Sergius says how Raina has “inspired” him (p. 129). Rania’s response to this was: “And you have never been absent from my thoughts for a moment . . . “(p.129). Raina is clearly lying, because when the Swiss soldier was in her room she had no hurry to tell him that she was taken, and that the man he spoke evil of was the same man she was going to get married with. As far as we know, she might have forgotten about Sergius in that conversation.