The Cellist of Sarajevo

The Cellist of Sarajevo Three: Dragan (Part 2) Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
On the other side of the intersection, Dragan can see a man setting up a camera. The man is too clean and neat to be a Sarajevan, so he must be a foreign journalist. As the journalist sets up his equipment, another man decides to brave the intersection. He makes it across safely and Dragan thinks the journalist looks disappointed that he didn’t get to film it.
The journalist seems to be taking advantage of Sarajevo’s plight to get a dramatic story. Dragan sees other people using Sarajevo to project the image they want, instead of painting a nuanced portrait of what Sarajevo is and was.
Themes
Reality, Image, and Memory Theme Icon
Another dog comes up behind the journalist and also seems to be on a mission. Dragan briefly wonders if the dog will try to eat the corpse of the hatless man, but the dog stays focused. As the dog passes, Dragan wants to help the poor animal. But the dog seems to want nothing to do with humans. Dragan realizes he has been like that dog these past months, trying not to get too involved with his surroundings.
The dog has given up on human civilization completely, keeping to itself instead of either harming others by eating the corpse or trusting others in order to help it. Dragan, similarly, neither assisted nor took advantage of anyone. The fact that he is not harming anyone is not enough – Dragan must reengage with his fellow citizens.
Themes
Art, Culture, and Civilization Theme Icon
Heroism Theme Icon
The journalist sets up a few more cables for his camera and Dragan knows he will be filming soon. Dragan does not want the body of the hatless man to be on camera. Though Dragan agrees that the world should see what is happening in Sarajevo, he doesn’t want his city to be seen as a place where bodies are allowed to lie in the streets. He doesn’t want the hatless man to be stripped of his humanity and held up as a curiosity for foreign audiences.
While Dragan recognizes that Sarajevo is in trouble and that the media can help them gain foreign aid, he also does not want the world to see a Sarajevo in which the rules of civilization have completely broken down. The Sarajevans are still people, not an exhibit or an example for the world of the horrors of war.
Themes
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Reality, Image, and Memory Theme Icon
Dragan thinks about Emina and the cellist. Just as the cellist plays because it is the only thing he can do to keep the city from getting worse, Dragan sees what he can do to help Sarajevo return to being a place where bodies do not line the streets. Dragan knows the sniper is still targeting this intersection, but he thinks he can go out into the street and pull the hatless man out of the camera’s view in less than a minute.
Every small action can help Sarajevo regain and maintain its spirit during peacetime. Galloway praises Dragan and the cellist for doing what they can where they can, even if their small moments of heroism do not seem to have an overall effect on the war.
Themes
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Heroism Theme Icon
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Dragan walks into the street. Time slows in his head as he makes his way to the body of the hatless man. Dragan finally reaches the body and grabs the man’s hands. Dragan is surprised that being this close to the dead body doesn’t bother him. A sniper bullet hits the dead body, but Dragan simply starts to drag the body away. He is past fear, knowing that the sniper will fire again but simply accepting this fact without emotion.
Dragan does what he must, finally taking action to make Sarajevo become the city he wants to live in. His fear had previously paralyzed him so much that he chose not to do anything. Now, even though his life is in danger, Dragan has a cause that feels is worth the risk.
Themes
Heroism Theme Icon
Reality, Image, and Memory Theme Icon
Dragan makes it back to the safety behind the boxcars. He checks his body, seeing that he has not been injured. He looks up to see that the journalist is staring at him but the camera is not rolling. Dragan is glad that the body will never be on film now. Shells begin to fall from the hills and defending gunfire answers. Dragan waits for everything to go quiet, wondering when this war will end and if people will forget everything that happened once it is over.
Though Dragan did not want the journalist to film a corpse, thereby disrespecting the man who died and the city of Sarajevo, Dragan is not opposed to media presence in the city in general. He wants the world to know what is happening, if only so that the war will not be forgotten. In the same way, it is important to Galloway that Sarajevo is immortalized in this novel. He wants his vision of the Bosnian conflict to help educate others against falling into that hatred again.
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Once the firing stops, Dragan stands and picks up Emina’s coat and the dead man’s hat. He thinks about what will happen when the Sarajevans become content with living with dead bodies in the street. That is the moment that the men on the hill will truly win. Dragan covers the dead body with Emina’s coat and puts the man’s hat back on his head.
Dragan hopes to avoid falling in to apathy once more. He must be actively working to help Sarajevo become the place he remembers and the city he wants to live in. By offering respect to the dead body, Dragan follow’s Emina’s spirit and honors her.
Themes
Heroism Theme Icon
Reality, Image, and Memory Theme Icon