Themes

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Last Reviewed on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 184

The Bridge on the Drina stresses the influence of war on the lives of ordinary people. The effects of war and terrorism are thus themes in the book, but more important is the idea of the bridge as both a battleground and a transition between worlds: the worlds of the East and the West. The themes in the book revolve around the symbolism of the bridge, which is both a testament to human accomplishment and a symbol of human oppression and exploitation. In a sense, it also symbolizes the strength of the human spirit and the faith that helps people endure during times of war and hardship.

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The book stretches over four centuries of war, and it shows how Eastern Europe emerged as a transition zone between the Ottoman Empire and Western Europe. Violence erupted in the transition zone, which resulted from a culture clash between worlds and conflicting ideologies. In the book, the bridge is the site of violence and turmoil, and as such, it describes the history of the Balkans. The symbolism of a bridge between worlds highlights the conflict between civilizations.

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