Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin Chapter 26 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
In the morning, Corelli waits anxiously for Carlo to pick him up. Carlo's jeep, however, is broken. Carlo begins to walk towards the village and passes Velisarios on his way. The two giant men gawk at each other, share a cigarette, curse the war, and go on their ways. Velisarios finds the broken jeep, removes the tires, and fill the radiator with gas.
Velisarios's actions show that at this point, the Greeks are still unwilling to truly humanize their invaders. This again suggests that Velisarios is still willing to use his power as a strongman to hurt or humiliate others in some circumstances.
Themes
Power, Reality, and Absurdity Theme Icon
Politics and Friendship Theme Icon
Dr. Iannis passes Corelli on his way to the kapheneia. Corelli shows Dr. Iannis his "cat" bite, which is red and swollen. Dr. Iannis remarks that pine martens have awful bites and suggests he show it to a doctor, which makes Corelli feel hurt and foolish. Pelagia comes outside a bit later to find Corelli tossing a laughing Lemoni up in the air and conducting an Italian lesson with her. Pelagia sends Lemoni on her way and tells Corelli that fraternization is indecent. Corelli sighs and says that in war, it's important to take advantage of innocent pleasures, and then he heads down the road.
Corelli's response to Pelagia shows that he understands that the only way to get through the war is to focus on the beauty as much as possible, just as Carlo focused on the beauty of his love for Francisco in Albania. This will be especially important if Dr. Iannis and Pelagia continue to treat him horribly and as though he's barely human or worthy of acknowledgement.
Themes
War: Horror, Beauty, and Humanity Theme Icon
Politics and Friendship Theme Icon
Pelagia returns inside and studies the reproduction section in Dr. Iannis's copy of The Complete and Concise Home Doctor. She does chores and thinks about Corelli. Mandras interrupts her reverie, having suddenly returned to normal on the day the Italians invaded. Mandras asks to see Dr. Iannis about some bad skin and makes a rude joke at Pelagia's expense when she offers to look at it. After a moment of silence, he says he's leaving to join the partisans.
Pelagia's choice of study material betrays her attraction to Corelli, while Mandras's joke makes it more apparent that her engagement to him isn't going to last. This is especially true given that he insults Pelagia's abilities when he refuses to let her look at his skin, which suggests he wouldn't respect her as a wife.
Themes
History and Storytelling Theme Icon
Family, Opportunity, and Gender Dynamics Theme Icon
Pelagia fetches the waistcoat she embroidered for Mandras and asks if he'd like to take it. He inspects it and remarks that the embroidery doesn't match side to side. Pelagia feels disappointed and betrayed. He apologizes and asks Pelagia to tell Drosoula that he's leaving. He promises to think of her every minute and as he leaves, he says he'll always love her.
Mandras's critique of the embroidery indicates that he has high standards for a wife and expects the best from her--something that Pelagia, with few domestic skills aside from cooking, won't be able to live up to.
Themes
Family, Opportunity, and Gender Dynamics Theme Icon
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That evening, Corelli notices a beautifully embroidered waistcoat hanging in the kitchen. Pelagia catches him inspecting it and is embarrassed, but he insists it's a masterpiece and says that things aren't supposed to be perfectly symmetrical. He offers to buy it, but Pelagia refuses. Corelli asks about paying rent and offers her a chunk of salami, saying he already gave some to Psipsina. A week later, the refurbished jeep explodes and kills a young member of La Scala.
The fact that Corelli is entranced by the waistcoat suggests that he's a much better match for Pelagia, as he'd celebrate her faults and inconsistencies. The salami acts as a peace offering and suggests that Corelli is going to do what he can to show the Greeks that he's human and respects them, starting with their non-human companions.
Themes
Politics and Friendship Theme Icon
Family, Opportunity, and Gender Dynamics Theme Icon