Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin Chapter 27 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Dr. Iannis wakes early in the morning and passes Pelagia asleep on the kitchen floor. He kisses her on the cheek and heads to the kapheneia. Corelli wakes a bit later and also discovers Pelagia asleep on the floor. Not wanting to wake her, he returns to his room and begins to practice with Antonia. Pelagia's dream begins to include the music. She dreams about the day before, when Corelli had borrowed a horse that pranced at the sight of pretty girls and ridden for her. The face keeps switching between Corelli and Mandras. She makes it stay on Corelli and finally wakes and becomes aware of what she's listening to.
Corelli's music is one of the many beautiful parts of the Greek theater of the war, especially since it shows Pelagia how human and vulnerable Corelli is. By allowing Pelagia to sleep undisturbed, Corelli is able to show her that he respects her and doesn't want to embarrass or intrude on her privacy--in other words, he understands the importance of being kind and courteous.
Themes
War: Horror, Beauty, and Humanity Theme Icon
Politics and Friendship Theme Icon
Corelli comes out of the bedroom when he hears Pelagia in the kitchen. He apologizes for waking her, though she insists it was a wonderful way to wake up. She admires how beautiful the mandolin is and then asks why he plays it. Corelli explains that he used to play the violin, but he played horribly. When his uncle gave him Antonia, he discovered he was a much better mandolin player. He says that when the war is over, he's going to be a professional concert player and write a concerto.
Corelli's dreams for the future suggest that the war is an inconvenient interlude in his life as far as Corelli is concerned; it's not something he actively wanted to participate in. This is another way that the novel points to his humanity, as war itself doesn't interest him.
Themes
War: Horror, Beauty, and Humanity Theme Icon
Politics and Friendship Theme Icon
Corelli asks Pelagia about her dream of becoming a doctor. She says she's not sure, as women can't be doctors. He suggests she have children and shares that he wants a bunch of children. Pelagia asks him to play something. She watches his hands and his face, which flickers with emotion. When he finishes, she remarks that an artist like him shouldn't be a soldier. He insists that soldiers are just like everyone else and agrees that war is a waste of time. As he puts Antonia away, he admits that he's seen Pelagia's derringer and cautions her that if someone else sees it, she could be in trouble. After Corelli leaves, Pelagia thinks that she could've killed him a number of times already, but decides she can't poison a musician.
In everything Corelli says during this exchange, he tries to impress upon Pelagia that he and his fellow Italian soldiers are human and normal, just like she is. They're all caught up in the war for no good reason, and he recognizes that she's likely afraid for her safety because of the occupation. When Pelagia reasons that she can't kill Corelli because he's a musician, it shows that she's starting to see him as human and deserving of life, even if he is her oppressor.
Themes
War: Horror, Beauty, and Humanity Theme Icon
History and Storytelling Theme Icon
Politics and Friendship Theme Icon
Related Quotes
Blue quotation bubble icon linking to an important quote associated with this summary and analysis.
That night, Dr. Iannis asks Corelli for a concert. Corelli spends minutes tapping the mandolin. Dr. Iannis finally asks what he's playing. Annoyed, Corelli says he was playing a concerto and imagining the first 45 bars before the mandolin comes in, like it would be played in a concert hall. Dr. Iannis stands, apologizes to the invisible masses for interrupting the concert, but asks where the other instruments are.
Dr. Iannis asserts his power over Corelli again when he forces Corelli to abandon his imaginary concert hall. In Corelli's case, however, he wasn't using this alternate reality for evil, which shows that it's possible to use a false reality like this for good.
Themes
Power, Reality, and Absurdity Theme Icon
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