George Bernard Shaw, in Arms and the Man, utilized a style of writing called Ruritanian Romance. Basically, this means that there is a certain amount of mystery, action, adventure, and the usual cast of ill fated lovers. Shaw doesn't stop there, though. He in fact, plays with this form, exaggerating some of the situations in the book that could have become very maudlin and instead makes the characters seem very real, even if they are in impossible situations. It is during this juxtaposition that Shaw inserts social commentary into the work, often using humor to drive it home. For example, when Bluntschli walks away from Saranoff's sword fight, Shaw is inserting the commentary that such acts of machoism are stupid. However, he does not abandon the form all together as he does have an 'all's well that ends well' type of ending.