Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin Chapter 16 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Pelagia records her letters to Mandras. In the first, she wonders if he's not getting her letters or if his replies just aren't getting through. She's written to him every day. Pelagia is terrified that Mandras is dead, and begs him to write so that she knows he's alive. She asks if he received the sweater and the scarf she made and describes how things are at home. She tells Mandras that she has her derringer and that already the women have learned to perform tasks that men once did. The news from the front is often positive.
The mention that women are already starting to do men's work shows that all women are capable of learning to think and perform masculine tasks; it's just a matter of necessity and learning how to do it. This offers hope that the women of Pelagia's village will be able to do better for themselves after the war, given what they learn to do during it.
Themes
War: Horror, Beauty, and Humanity Theme Icon
Family, Opportunity, and Gender Dynamics Theme Icon
Pelagia continues that Dr. Iannis, Stamatis, and Kokolios have banded together to praise the military and Metaxas despite their differing political views. Italian residents have been beaten. She says she's decided to make her own dowry and so has begun a crocheted bedcover. She also wants to make Mandras a waistcoat. She mentions that the Italians bombed Corfu on Christmas Day and implores him to write to Drosoula, as she's very worried.
By taking matters into her own hands in regards to the dowry, Pelagia shows that she is aware that she can use the dowry to her advantage and to give her more power in the long run. This shows another way in which Pelagia behaves in a way that's more masculine rather than feeling incompetent or lost.
Themes
Family, Opportunity, and Gender Dynamics Theme Icon
Pelagia begins her next letter by saying she's becoming accustomed to Mandras not replying. For St. Basil's Day, Dr. Iannis got her a book of political writings and poems, and the lucky coin ended up in her piece of cake. She's begun the waistcoat and is still picking out her bedcover. News from the front says that the Greeks are taking down Mussolini, but Metaxas apparently isn't well. She again asks him to write to Drosoula.
When Pelagia notes that she's picking out her bedcover again, it symbolizes her own unhappiness with her engagement to Mandras given that she can't complete this task for her dowry. In this way, Pelagia begins to feel a bit less womanly given that she seems to be failing at womanhood and these specifically female tasks.
Themes
Family, Opportunity, and Gender Dynamics Theme Icon
Pelagia begins her hundredth letter to Mandras. She's glad that she hasn't seen his name on the list of the dead. Metaxas is dead and Dr. Iannis cut off his moustache so he doesn't look anything like Hitler. Everyone is hungry and it's been stormy and cold. The waistcoat is nearly finished, but Psipsina vomited on the bedcover and the goat ate a few bites of it.
The animals' destruction of the bedcover acts as a major sign that the engagement itself is misguided, as it seems at this point as though the bedcover isn't going to happen. This in turn suggests that the marriage itself isn't going to succeed either.
Themes
Power, Reality, and Absurdity Theme Icon
Family, Opportunity, and Gender Dynamics Theme Icon
Get the entire Captain Corelli’s Mandolin LitChart as a printable PDF.
Captain corelli s mandolin.pdf.medium