Art plays a large role in the novel. Why do you think art is so important to the plot?
Join Date: 10/15/10
Join Date: 02/23/14
It is the fundamental promise of survival beyond death in the form of portraiture that connects people to their lost loved ones and assures the characters their memory will survive. It stands as a determined statement of creative force and beauty against a backdrop of destruction and ugliness.
Join Date: 12/07/12
The point was very clear that when we are gone art lives on. The people continued to exist and to confront their killers from the portraits on the trees. This novel will stand as testimony against the Russians who invaded and continue to crush Chechnya.
Join Date: 04/28/11
I think art really helped to provide a contrast between the sadness and gloom that really permeated the novel. I think that it is something that survives all the atrocities, but I think it also provides humanity to those who are living the awful experience. It was interesting that Akhmed was a lousy doctor, but a brilliant artist and I think that goes to the fact in times of stress and war you need more doctors than artists. How can you support yourself as an artist when art is the last thing people think about when they are in survival mode.
Join Date: 04/21/11
Join Date: 10/16/10
I agree with Kathleen, but I'd also like to mention the mural on the hospital wall - so it's not only that art goes on after <I>we're</I> gone, but when everything else is as well - ensuring a measure of immortality for things and people who are lost. It's also a way of remembering a past that has been lost.
Join Date: 03/22/12
Join Date: 01/19/12
I saw “The Monuments Men” tonight. Share the quote below (one of many that could be in response to this question) from the character Lt. Frank Stokes played by George Clooney.
“You can wipe out an entire generation, you can burn their homes to the ground, and somehow they’ll still find their way back. But if you destroy their history, you destroy their achievements, then it’s as if they never existed. …that’s exactly what we’re fighting for."
Join Date: 06/16/11
I agree with the points the others have made. Art is so frequently a reminder of who we are, who we were, and what is important to us. It is a reminder and a teacher of history and an expression of what the artist feels and it preserves our pasts as well as explains our present by simplifying the world into a single picture.
Join Date: 07/16/11
Art can be a reflection of life or a world you dream of (and much more); and I think it was important that while everything and almost everyone they knew was destroyed or disappeared, the murals and Akhmed's portraits provided a reality for them, a memory. Also it seems to be a message that even when you have almost nothing (supplies, food, etc.), people will still find a way to express that creative part of themselves. So, in the face of lost humanity this key was still available to them.
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