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The Cellist Of Sarajevo

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Kara Wedde

on 6 December 2013

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Transcript of The Cellist Of Sarajevo

The Cellist Of Sarajevo
Overall Opinion
I thought the novel was a good novel that used a series of different stories to make a bigger statement. It tells us a lot about ourselves as canadains, firstly that were lucky to live in this country, but also that we didnt do anything to help Sarajevo during the war. Its disappointing that as a country we didnt do anything to help, but the tradegy that occured in Sarajevo wasnt publicized enough to make people aware of the awful things that were happening.
-Dragan is an older man who lives on his own after his wife and son fled to Italy after the war. He is fighting to stay alive for his family.
-Throughout the novel each character listens to the cellist play, and he brings hope to each one.
-The characters develop over the novel with the influence of the cellist's music, and re think the way they have been living their lives throughout the war.
Best Features
-Style: The way the author used four different stories of how the war affected people. This shows that although everyone has different struggles, each person also has something in common. It shows us that depite the struggles the cellists showed each of them "to a certainty that the world still held a capacity for goodness" (255)
-Characterization: That each persons story was so different. Shows how the war effects every person despite their situation.
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Plot Overview
-The cellist watches from his window as 22 people are killed by a mortor while buying bread in the street across from his apartment during the war.
-He promises himself that for the next 22 days he will play "Albinoni's Adagio". A day for every person killed.
-Aarow is a young girl who becomes a sniper during the war. Throughout the novel we see her fight between the person she used to be and the person she does not want to become, but will have to to stay alive.
-Kenan is a father fighting to be strong for his family but losing hope and faith each day.

Worst Feature
-imagery: The images used throught the novel were gruesome and added an unpleastantness to the story. One example being the hatless man who's "flap of skin hangs over the maw of his emptied skull like a bad toupee" (235). Although I didnt enjoy these images I also understand that Galloway had to use these images to shock people into beleiving how awful the war was.
Thesis and Key Points
Throughout the novel the protagonists, Arrow, Kenan and Dragan develop from doing everything they can to fight for their lives to realizing, through the actions of others, that beleiving in ideals and maintaining the city that once existed is worth risking your life for.
-Each character starts the novel not really living, only living in a self-protecting mode.
-Each character comes across a catalyst that opens their eyes to the way they have been living throughout the novel.
-They all decide to change the lives they've developed during the war for the better of Sarajevo.
Arrow, Kenan, and Dragan begin the novel living a partial life, only thinking about defending themselves and doing what they have to in order to stay alive.
-Arrow started the novel fighting in the army defending Sarajevo, and doing everything possible to stay alive.
She had "a desire to separate the part of her that will fight back, that will enjoy fighting back, from the part that never wanted to fight in the first place" (13). Aarow only fought because she had to in order to protect herself and Sarajevo.
-Kenan begins the novel only wanting to protect himseld and his family. He tries his best to hide "how afraid he is, how useless he is, and how powerless he has become" (26) since the war began. He is brave and strong for his family because he knows how hard life would be for them without him.

-Dragan began the novel doing everything he could to stay alive, and to distance himself from others. Dragan isolates himself because "he can perhaps learn to bear the destruction of buildings, but the destruction of the living is too much for him." (43)
Arrow, Kenan, and Dragan forget the people they once were before the war and only live as much of their lives as they need to in order to stay alive.
Aarow, Kenan, and Dragan each come across a catalyst in the novel which makes them realize they have "been asleep since the war began" (250), and are not happy with how they have reacted to the war.
-Arrow is given an assignment to protect and guard the Cellist, and each day she watched him play the music showed her "that the world still held the capacity for goodness" (255). It showed her that she was still the girl she was before the war.
-Kenan was a witness of a shelling at the brewery where he was getting water for his family. He watched as people frantically helped the injured and did nothing to help. "It's things like this that make him the coward he is" (167). After the brewery he stumbles along the cellist playing in the street. Its this that makes Kenan want to start helping his city, and making a difference.

-Dragan comes across his old friend Emina while waiting to cross the street. She is going out and risking her life to deliver her mothers old blood thinners to someone she doesnt even know. Her courage makes Dragan ashamed of how hes been acting. "Ever since the war started he has walked through the streets and tried to pay as little attention as possible to his surroundings. He saw nothing he didnt have to see and did nothing he didnt have to do." (232)
Aarow, Kenan, and Dragan all come across someone during the novel that makes them aware and ashamed of how they have been living since the beginning of the war.
Aarow, Kenan, and Dragan all make a decision to change the way they have been living after the influence of the catalyst in hopes to better Sarajevo.
-Aarow is under the command of a new Colonel after her previous one was killed in a bombing, and he instructs her to shoot innocent people. When given the command Aarow walks out knowing the consequences, because she would rather die then murder people who dont deserve it: "No one will tell her who to hate" (257).
-When Dragan listens to the Cellist play he watches the city rebuilding itself, which is when he decides he wants to be one of the people to rebuild Sarajevo. "They will rebuild the city not knowing whether this is the last time it will be done. They will earn the right to do this, any way they can, and when it's done they'll rest." (216)
-Dragan admires the courage of Emina and decides from now on "he will behave now as he hopes everyone will someday behave. Because civilization isn't a thing that you build and then there it is, you have it forever. It needs to be built constantly, recreated daily" (248).
Aarow, Kenan, and Dragan all realize that if they wish to have the city they once lived in back, they need to start living for it in order to make a difference.
Throughout the novel Aarow, Kenan and Dragan get caught up in the war and only wanting to stay alive, but in the end they develop into realizing that maintaining the city that once existed is more important than barely living in the one it has become.
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