Literature-In-English Paper 3, May/June 2014  
Questions: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Main
General Comments

Question 6

Comment on the significance of the battle at Slivnitza


The battle of Slivnitza is between the Bulgarian and the Serbian forces in the ongoing war. The battle takes place in the “little town near the Dragoman pass” on the border between Bulgaria and Serbia. The Bulgarian side wins as a result of the “able” leadership of Major Sergius Saranoff. The victory makes Catherine proud of Sergius. The war dominates the action of the play reported. Most characters are introduced as the war is being discussed.
Bluntschli’s attempt to escape capture by enemy soldiers drives him to take cover in Raina’s bedroom. This encounter results in romance and later culminates in marriage. Also Serguis’s character as a foolhardy general who cares little about the safety of the soldiers under his command is brought to light.

This exposes the myth of heroism relating to war exploits. A good commander saves life whenever possible, as in the case of Bluntschli but a ruthless one only cares about winning the battle.

Few candidates attempted the question and their performance was poor.

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