May 28th, 2012
One’s humanity is not measured by what they have but what they are willing to do. If an individual shows that they will be overpowered by an opposing threat, they have already lost. In Steven Galloway’s novel The Cellist of Sarajevo, the attacking Serbians have surrounded Sarajevo and have taken away the safety of the civilians. In order to protect themselves and their fellow civilians, one must be willing to sacrifice their own safety to help others who are struggling in these times of war. By fighting back, the civilians of Sarajevo show that the men on the hills cannot control their lives. These people will not intimidate them. As a result of the main characters’ ability to sacrifice themselves for their families and the community, this allows them to continue their day-to-day life despite the destructive power of war. This can be seen through Arrow’s ability to sacrifice herself for the Cellist and community to maintain humanity, Kenan’s ability to hike the dangers of the war-torn city of Sarajevo to get water for his family and his critical neighbor, Ms. Ristovski, and Dragon’s ability of protecting his family and the citizens suffering in Sarajevo.
Arrow sacrifices herself to save her community from further destruction and to protect the life of the cellist. Arrow puts her life on the line for Sarajevo by shooting the men on the hills. When Arrow picks her target to snipe she thinks, “Though she hide’s on the ninth floor of this depredated building, the fortress is an uphill run, and she must slip the bullet between a series of buildings that stand between her target. The soldiers must stay within a space of about three meters, and smoke from burning buildings periodically obscures her view. As soon as she lets off a shot, every sniper on the southern hill will begin to search for her” (Galloway 13-14). Despite the threat the men on the hills bring, Arrow continues to...