The Zahir (Coelho) Imagery

The Zahir (Coelho) Imagery

Eiffel Tower

The narrator, on discovering that his wife had left him with no means of possible communication, tries to keep his senses. Since he is not new to divorce, he knows he’ll move on, find new women, but he can’t get around the fact that he has been abandoned and feels lonely without her. He sits on a hotel terrace, looking at Eiffel Tower, ironically the symbol of love, with finished champagne and cigarettes with no account of the number of times the tower had glittered with every new hour. The whole scene creates a contrast to what he is surrounded with physically and in mind.


The writer paints a rich picture of his efforts of starting the book. Since, starting is the most difficult part while writing a book, he finds himself procrastinating, doing mundane things to postpone the actual act, all the while worrying that he should have started by now.

Humans and War

Esther paints a rich image of a war scene as witnessed by her. She is able to look beyond the blood and gore and sees how soldiers who are timid commit great acts of bravery or sophisticated educated people looting museums. She narrates how the war can create an entirely different person from the one a person may be. People come together despite their differences and try to save each other in the gravest of times.


The narrator describes the loneliness felt by him in Geneva. Even though he had money and friends in the city, he felt a heavy loneliness of a lone traveller and tries to feel what multiple people feel who are not in love. How they try to groom themselves and try to appear better than they are so as to attract someone, but by not being obvious, as no one wants to accept how lonely they are.

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