The library in the Petkoff home is often held up as a symbol of their wealth, status, and accomplishment. Libraries are rare in Bulgarian homes, and therefore the library does indicate the family’s wealth—but it also ironically symbolizes their lack of better learning, critical thinking, and cultural awareness. The library notably has very few books in it, and Major Petkoff, despite his pride in his library, isn’t very well read. Though it indicates financial success it also indicates the emptiness and shallowness embodied by people like Major Petkoff.
The Library Symbol Timeline in Arms and the Man
The timeline below shows where the symbol The Library appears in Arms and the Man. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.