The Cellist of Sarajevo Questions and Answers
by Steven Galloway

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In The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway, how does the author show the ways in which individuals pursue or compromise their happiness?

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The Cellist of Sarajevo is set during the real-life Siege of Sarajevo which lasted from 1992 to 1996. Galloway presents the different perspectives of those most affected and how they manage under constant threat from "the men on the hills." Interestingly, it could be any city affected by war and the avoidance of categorizing ethnic or religious groups allows for a more powerful message with which everyone can identify. Even some of the "men on the hills" cannot help but appreciate the music. Galloway sums up what every person knows about war:

"There are no heroes, no villains, no cowards... There's right and wrong and nothing else."

The cellist, a symbol of hope, becomes the catalyst or mechanism through which the reader is introduced and tracks the lives of Arrow, the young female sniper who used to hate no-one and won't kill just for the sake of it but because it saves lives, Kenan for whom fetching water for his family is a life-threatening event and Dragan who isn't "built for war"...

(The entire section contains 548 words.)

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