The Cellist of Sarajevo

The Cellist of Sarajevo Four: Arrow Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Arrow wakes up in her apartment to the sound of soldiers in the hall, ten days after she walked away from Hasan. She has been hiding in various places around the city, and is somewhat surprised to be found the first day she returns to her home. Arrow doesn’t pick up her gun, having already decided to let Karaman’s men find her now that she has finished protecting the cellist.
Arrow finally gives up her life as a weapon, refusing to use her gun even in self-defense. Her last mission was protecting the cellist – an endeavor in which she added to the spirit of tolerance, peace, and art in the city, rather than adding more violence.
Themes
Hatred and the Other Theme Icon
Art, Culture, and Civilization Theme Icon
The last day the cellist played, there was a good-sized crowd in the street. Arrow began to cry as the cellist played, everyone stuck motionless as they listened to the Adagio’s sorrowful melody. Arrow realizes that this whole war could have been stopped if no one had ever been filled with hate. The cellist finished playing, with tears on his face, then walked over to the pile of flowers and added his bow to the pile. The cellist returned to his apartment and the crowd gradually dispersed.
With the cellist’s last performance, Arrow reconnects with the emotions she has been denying since she cut off her own humanity in order to become a weapon. Galloway displays the cellist’s music as an antidote to hate, able to help Arrow recover from her time spent in damaging hatred.
Themes
Hatred and the Other Theme Icon
Art, Culture, and Civilization Theme Icon
In her apartment, Arrow wonders what her life would have been if the war never happened. There seem to be an endless number of possibilities, all of which lead to her being happy. But now, Arrow’s only options are to kill or be caught as the hate continues to grow inside her. Thinking of that, Arrow had added her rifle to the cellist’s pile of flowers that last day, leaving her gun next to the cellist’s bow. Arrow knows that the soldiers will burst through her door in a few seconds to kill her. She quietly whispers, “My name is Alisa.”
Poisoned by hate, Arrow sees that she cannot continue to live in a world where she would always be an instrument of violence. To honor her human soul, Arrow reclaims her identity from before the war as she gives herself up. Arrow, like Nermin before her, sacrifices herself to avoid perpetuating a cycle of hatred. She decides that the cellist’s music is more important than her life of murder and chooses to die after protecting the cellist rather than to live in hate.
Themes
Hatred and the Other Theme Icon
Art, Culture, and Civilization Theme Icon