The Cellist of Sarajevo Essay Questions

Essay Questions

  1. 1

    What is a mortar and why is it significant to the narrative?

    Both the cellist and Arrow mention mortars as being explosive devices used to bomb the city of Sarajevo. The cellist mentions that during a mortar strike, 22 people have been killed and Arrow has to run from a building as a mortar is thrown at it. A mortar is a device that fires projectiles at a long distance. The projectiles used can be explosive shells and they were used during the World Wars because they were relatively easy to use and to transport from one place to another.

  2. 2

    What does the pile of dead flowers left on the stool on which the cellist stayed mean?

    During her first day protecting the cellist, Arrow notices that someone left a pile of dead flowers on the stool on which the cellist stayed during his performance. The flowers were left by those who heard the cellist play and who were moved by his performance. The flowers are a gesture that shows that the people liked the music played by the cellist. The fact that the flowers were dead signifies the fact that even though they were moved, the people knew that there was no hope for them.

  3. 3

    What significance has the cellist’s act of leaving his cello behind during his last act and Arrow’s act of leaving her rifle behind?

    During the cellist’s last performance, instead of taking his cello and going inside, the cellist lets his cello behind, on the spot where he played for 22 days. Arrow, having completed her mission, also leaves her riffle behind, next to the cello. Both actions are important because the cello and the rifle were the elements that characterized both characters. By leaving them behind, the characters signal the fact that they have given up on life. Arrow will be later killed because she chose to disobey direct orders and but the cellist’s fate remains uncertain.

Update this section!

You can help us out by revising, improving and updating this section.

Update this section

After you claim a section you’ll have 24 hours to send in a draft. An editor will review the submission and either publish your submission or provide feedback.