Arms and the Man

Louka is an opinionated, beautiful young servant working for the Petkoffs . She is expected to settle down with and marry Nicola, the family’s head servant. However, she rejects the idea that her being born into a poorer family means she must live as servant to the rich her whole life. At first she rejects Sergius’s advances believing he is simply using her because he thinks she is beneath him. When she realizes Sergius disdains his own wealth and “nobility” she admits she has fallen for him.

Louka Quotes in Arms and the Man

The Arms and the Man quotes below are all either spoken by Louka or refer to Louka. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Identity, Authenticity, and Self-Expression Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Dover Publications edition of Arms and the Man published in 1990.
Act 2 Quotes

She is so grand that she never dreams that any servant could dare to be disrespectful to her; but if she once suspects that you are defying her, out you go.

Related Characters: Nicola (speaker), Louka, Catherine Petkoff
Page Number: 17
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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You have the soul of a servant, Nicola.
Yes: that’s the secret of success in service.

Related Characters: Louka (speaker), Nicola (speaker)
Page Number: 18
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Act 3 Quotes

How easy it is to talk! Men never seem to me to grow up: they all have schoolboy’s ideas. You don’t know what true courage is…I would marry the man I loved, which no other queen in Europe has the courage to do...You dare not: you would marry a rich man’s daughter because you would be afraid of what other people would say of you.

Related Characters: Louka (speaker), Major Sergius Saranoff
Page Number: 45
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

The world is not such an innocent place as we used to think.

Related Characters: Major Sergius Saranoff (speaker), Raina Petkoff, Louka
Page Number: 51
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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Louka Character Timeline in Arms and the Man

The timeline below shows where the character Louka appears in Arms and the Man. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1
Romanticism / Idealism vs. Realism Theme Icon
Class Divisions Theme Icon
Youth vs. Maturity Theme Icon
Louka interrupts them, a young and pretty servant girl who is clearly defiant, and whose demeanor... (full context)
Identity, Authenticity, and Self-Expression Theme Icon
Romanticism / Idealism vs. Realism Theme Icon
Class Divisions Theme Icon
Heroism Theme Icon
...Raina keep her shutters locked. Raina expresses her desire to leave the shutters open, and Louka points out that a bolt is missing so that the windows actually can’t be locked... (full context)
Identity, Authenticity, and Self-Expression Theme Icon
Class Divisions Theme Icon
Louka enters to say that neighbors have seen a man crawling up the water pipe into... (full context)
Act 2
Identity, Authenticity, and Self-Expression Theme Icon
Class Divisions Theme Icon
It is March, 1886. Louka and Nicola, a middle-aged manservant, are in the garden of the Petkoff’s house. Nicola is... (full context)
Identity, Authenticity, and Self-Expression Theme Icon
Class Divisions Theme Icon
Louka agrees she is young, but says she knows secrets about the Petkoffs that could ruin... (full context)
...announces that Major Paul Petkoff, Raina’s father, is back from the war. Nicola quickly tells Louka to fetch coffee, and Louka mutters to herself that Nicola will never put the soul... (full context)
Identity, Authenticity, and Self-Expression Theme Icon
Romanticism / Idealism vs. Realism Theme Icon
Heroism Theme Icon
...made even thinking of “base deeds” impossible. They embrace, and pull apart when they hear Louka coming. Raina says she will go inside to get her hat and then they can... (full context)
Identity, Authenticity, and Self-Expression Theme Icon
Romanticism / Idealism vs. Realism Theme Icon
Louka comes outside, and Sergius’s demeanor changes instantly—he becomes mischievous and twirls his mustache. He asks... (full context)
Identity, Authenticity, and Self-Expression Theme Icon
Romanticism / Idealism vs. Realism Theme Icon
Sergius agrees. He tries to kiss Louka, and Louka tells him she doesn’t want his affection—he is making love behind Raina’s back... (full context)
Identity, Authenticity, and Self-Expression Theme Icon
Romanticism / Idealism vs. Realism Theme Icon
Class Divisions Theme Icon
...She says she is sure that if the man ever returns, Raina will marry him. Louka claims she knows the “difference between the sort of manner you and she put on... (full context)
Identity, Authenticity, and Self-Expression Theme Icon
Romanticism / Idealism vs. Realism Theme Icon
Class Divisions Theme Icon
Louka defiantly responds that she and Sergius are made of the same “clay” and that she... (full context)
Identity, Authenticity, and Self-Expression Theme Icon
Louka comes into the garden to tell her a Servian officer has arrived and is asking... (full context)
Act 3
Identity, Authenticity, and Self-Expression Theme Icon
Class Divisions Theme Icon
Heroism Theme Icon
Louka comes in, delivering written messages to Bluntschli. Bluntschli opens one and declares it is bad... (full context)
Class Divisions Theme Icon
Nicola comes in the room, and tries to be affectionate with Louka. She refuses him, and he offers her some of the money Sergius has just given... (full context)
Romanticism / Idealism vs. Realism Theme Icon
Class Divisions Theme Icon
Heroism Theme Icon
Sergius examines the bruise that remains on Louka’s arm and asks her if he can cure it. Louka says the opportunity has passed.... (full context)
Identity, Authenticity, and Self-Expression Theme Icon
Romanticism / Idealism vs. Realism Theme Icon
Class Divisions Theme Icon
...power to be with her. But, he says, he loves another woman, and adds that Louka is simply jealous of Raina. Louka laughs at this and says Raina will marry Bluntschli,... (full context)
Identity, Authenticity, and Self-Expression Theme Icon
Sergius berates himself, calling himself a coward a liar and a fool. Louka goes to leave, and he tells her she belongs to him. She asks him if... (full context)
Identity, Authenticity, and Self-Expression Theme Icon
Romanticism / Idealism vs. Realism Theme Icon
Bluntschli enters as Louka leaves. Sergius confronts him, and challenges him to a duel. Bluntschli amusedly accepts, knowing his... (full context)
Identity, Authenticity, and Self-Expression Theme Icon
Romanticism / Idealism vs. Realism Theme Icon
Youth vs. Maturity Theme Icon
Heroism Theme Icon
...is dead. Sergius says war and love are both “hollow shams,” and tells Raina that Louka was his informant. Raina responds that what she saw in the garden, from a window... (full context)
Identity, Authenticity, and Self-Expression Theme Icon
Romanticism / Idealism vs. Realism Theme Icon
Class Divisions Theme Icon
Heroism Theme Icon
Sergius hears this and in a rage throws the door open and pulls Louka inside. Bluntschli comments that he has eavesdropped before too, but it was justified because his... (full context)
Identity, Authenticity, and Self-Expression Theme Icon
Romanticism / Idealism vs. Realism Theme Icon
The rest of the details emerge. Meanwhile, Nicola arrives and admits he and Louka are not engaged, for she does not want him. Bluntschli remarks he would hire Nicola... (full context)
Identity, Authenticity, and Self-Expression Theme Icon
Romanticism / Idealism vs. Realism Theme Icon
Youth vs. Maturity Theme Icon
Catherine enters and sees Sergius and Louka. She asks to know the meaning of this. Sergius says he will marry Louka, and... (full context)