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Critique Paper

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To begin with, the novel` the cellist of Sarajevo’ is about three people trying to look for means of survival in a rampant city with tremendous fear of difficult times and the mourning cellist who plays fearlessly around them. However, the three major characters in the story include Arrow who is a woman sniper and has decided to protect the cellist as he plays some music to the twenty two dead people in a bread queue. The other character is Kenan who is a man with a family and is determined to walk around carefully in the city so as to fetch some water for his family (Galloway 18). As he walks he witnesses the destruction and death of his lovely city.

On the other hand, Dragan is an old man who is able to succeed in taking his son and wife out of the city without any harm and always long to join them (Galloway  27). Nevertheless, he is among the remnants of the Besieged city who is still working and has access to basic needs. Notably, it is these three major characters that Galloway uses to bring out the tragedy that befell the city of Besiege and the inhuman nature brought about by war.

In the same line of thought, the inhuman war that takes place in the city of Besiege which was once quiet and peaceful affects the inhabitants of the city tremendously. Actually, it was at first hard to come in touch with the reality that a city that was once an icon in the international society is in ruins. To be specific, the whole scenario is just tormenting and it disrupts the peaceful coexistence of the people in the land. In the unfolding of events, the rise of tension and fear due to the mass killing of people and destruction of property made many people to abandon their properties and even family members.

In fact, many people leave the city immediately after the war began and even some of the family members had to live far from each other and others had to lose their jobs (Galloway 72). As a result, many people feel a lot of emptiness in their lives by a mere fact that they have been separated by circumstances with their loved ones. For example, Dragan who is an old man and a baker in the city always longs to be with his family but he cannot be able. This is because he took his family away from the city and he remains behind to look after their property as he continues working. Actually, at one point he had decided to follow them but reasoned and decided to stay because he was not ready to be away from the city forever.

Apart from this, many other people also went away from the city and many businesses were closed and life becomes so difficult for a few people remaining (Galloway 60). In essence, the basic needs could be hardly found and in the few places where people could go and purchase some food were insecure. In fact, one of the worst incidences in the novel is when a group of people who re queuing to buy some bread are bombed and twenty two of them died instantly. It therefore comes out clearly that one must take a risk in order to get anything. To be specific, Kenan and Dragan confess that a highway that one could cross in a few seconds takes them hours now to cross. In other words, life in the city becomes unbearable to many especially when all the water taps were closed by the soldiers in the hill not mentioning the absences of electricity which acted as the lighting system.

On the hand, the war in siege really rob people their humanity. As a result, the lives of many people have become so meaningless such that no one can have a second thought before releasing a gun bullet. In the same line of thought, the hurtles killings during the war in Siege really affected the lives of Arrow, Kenan and Dragan. In connection to this, Arrow confesses that her heart is full of hatred such that it is no longer hard for her to shoot a soldier who seems to be a threat around the cellist (Galloway 7).

As a sniper, Arrow changes her identity to suit the nature of her duty in the city. Actually, in her flashback where she recalls a day she drove home and she had to stop along the way as a result of happiness that overwhelmed her. Moreover, Arrow says that those days life held a lot of meaning and it was worth living as compared to now. In essence, it is the many killings the soldiers in the hills did that robbed of the people including Arrow the sense of being human. This is evident when Arrow a lady who grew with no idea of what hatred is gets into a position where she can shoot a person dead.

Actually, the snipers in the hills have reduced the value of being human into nothing whereby killing people and children on the streets was the order of the day. It is this fear of death that keeps Dragan and Kenan on the way as they go to work and fetch water respectively. This is because bridges and buildings can be blown any time and they are therefore forced to hide around burnt houses and cars as they look for the safest way that can lead to their destination (Galloway 145).

Additionally, on his way to the water tap Kenan witnesses’ killings of many people and this continues to threaten him on how thin the chance for survival is. This is so absurd and it has made the human existence in the besieged city so meaningless to an extend that people do not respect human rights to live (Galloway 70).  

In actuality, it is hard for the three characters to accept that the city which was once peaceful and very productive has turned into ruins. However, the physical and mental torture that the war brought to the people in Siege has really tormented them. The bitter part of the experience is the freedom that the people who live in the Besiege city have been robbed off. Needless to say, many people are not in a position to live together with their families and at the same time they have to hide while going to work. Essentially, this is cruelty of the highest order and makes the people of the land to live as if they are slaves in a foreign land.

In fact, Dragan asserts that it is really painful to just watch such a beautiful city being wasted into ashes and small pieces of scattered objects. This is because it is a waste of resources that the inhabitants of the city have invested in it. In addition to this, children who were reading peacefully in schools before were now at home (Galloway 230). This fact really torments the thoughts of the parents due to the hopelessness that the future may be holding. In the same line of thought, the killing of the many children and people anyhow and anywhere as the other people watch is such a painful and bitter experience.

Following this, Kenan is so stressed up by the thought that anytime the recruiting group may come for him in the house to fight for the people’s freedom. Reasonably, Kenan is not a coward but the fact that he will go out and fight people he has been made by circumstances to hate is simply not fair to him. Even though, Kenan is not fighting physically he continually faces an emotional fight as he risks his life everyday in order to take good care of his family. In reality, it really hurts Kenan anytime he carries heavy containers of water and walk on dangerous grounds knowing that he can be shot anytime anywhere.

On the other hand, Arrow is also anguished while carrying out her duty of guarding the cellist knowing that even though she is experienced as a sniper, she is surely risking her life. Moreover, her thoughts are never at peace whenever she recalls that if it were not for circumstances surrounding her she could have never had any reason of shooting anyone. To be precise, the anguish and absurdism caused by the attack of Siege is almost equal to that of the Japanese World War II (Straus 81).

From a broader perspective, it can be said that the war that takes place in Besiege city really disrupts the peaceful nature of living in it. More to this point, the war affects the people physically, mentally and socially. Actually, this is brought out by the many painful experiences that the major characters go through during the war. Physically, many innocent people together with their children in the city are killed anyhow which really agonized many. For example, Kenan and Dragan are really tormented by the many killings by the soldiers in the hills. Actually, Kenan dreads the day the recruiting team will come for him so as to join the defending group. However, he admits that even if he does not go to the frontline and fight, he still suffers the effects of the war every time he goes out to get something for the family.

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