The Bridge on the Drina

by Ivo Andrić

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Last Updated September 5, 2023.

The Bridge on the Drina is a historical novel by Ivo Andric. As the title implies, it is the story of a bridge, ranging from its construction to its use to, finally, its demise. Andric uses this bridge as a metaphor for the relations between the people on either side of the bridge.

The bridge is built by a man named Mehmed, who is taken from his home as a child and grows up in a culture that is not his own. When he is an adult, he has the bridge built at the site where he last saw his mother. The bridge connects his homeland to the rest of the Ottoman Empire, opening up an entirely new world to people on either side.

As the story progresses, the bridge is shown to unite people on either side. They meet in the middle of the bridge, and they learn to rely on it - and each other - in spite of the fact that each side of the bridge is home to a different culture.

The story then follows the bridge as it falls into disuse when Austria-Hungaria and the Serbians begin to divide. People no longer use the bridge to socialize, and people on either side grow to hate each other.

The bridge then unites the two worlds once more when it is used to transport items during World War I, but this eventually leads to its destruction. The story is about a bridge, but that bridge is representative of the author's home country as a whole. The bridge tells the story of how two separate cultures came together, then fell apart.

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