The Cellist of Sarajevo Imagery

The Cellist of Sarajevo Imagery

Line for bread

One of the first images invoked in the novel is that of the common people waiting in line for bread. The cellist sees them from his window and thinks about them, counting each one of them. Later, the people waiting in line for bread are all killed by a blast coming from one of the hills surrounding the city. The line of people is an important image because its memory makes the cellist to want to do something for the people instead of simply waiting and looking out of the window. Because the cellist was affected by the line of people, he began playing his cello for the people in the city.

Beautiful city versus the real version

Dragan is another character introduced in the fourth chapter of the novel. He opens his chapter by remembering the way the city used to be and how it looked like in the present day. Dragan though about the days when it was a pleasure to just cruise along the river and then he notes sadly that those times changed and that it became really dangerous just being outside. Dragan portrays the city as a dangerous place, an image highlighted by the description of how the city used to look like in the past.

Fishing with bread

When Kenan began his journey to get water, he passed by a man fishing with bread. The man was luring the pigeons on the street with a piece of bread tied by a string and while Kenan was amused by the sight, the man told Kenan that he caught at least 6 pigeons that day. The sight of the man hunting for pigeons with a piece of bread made Kenan think about the soldiers sitting on the hills outside the city. Kenan compared those soldiers with the man, killing a few people every day, but not enough to scare the population from wanting to get out in the streets. This portrays the people in the city as mere animals, beings the people on the hills enjoy shooting at just for fun.

Beautiful cello

When Arrow first sees the cellist, the first thing she notices about him is his cello, a dignified piece that looks out of place in the destroyed city. Arrow marvels at the sight of the cello and even though she does not understand why the cellist would put his life in danger, she agrees to protect him. For her, the image of the cello represents her old life, a life filled with laughter and pleasures and by protecting the cello and the cellist, she feels as if she is protecting her old way of life.

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