Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin Chapter 38 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
One morning, Corelli wakes up hung over. His world spins and he groans that he wants to die. Pelagia enters with a pitcher of water and tells him that last night, Carlo brought him back at two in the morning, drunk and singing out of tune, and that Carlo is asleep outside on the table. Corelli says he was just excited that his team won the football match. She says that Weber came earlier and told her that the Italians cheated, and she says that Weber looks at her like she's an animal. Corelli explains that Weber is a Nazi; he thinks everyone who isn't a Nazi is an animal but he might grow out of it. Pelagia calls Corelli a drunk who just chases local girls and plays football.
Corelli's assessment of Weber as being young and impressionable suggests that Weber is a lot like Mandras: both of them joined their respective organizations because they didn't know any better--and both the Nazis and ELAS allow them to feel superior to everyone, even their own countrymen. The fact that Corelli attributes this to Weber's youth is one way that the novel suggests that youth are idealistic, though in some cases, it can go horribly wrong.
Themes
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Corelli insists that the local girls do well because of the Italian interest, which enrages Pelagia. She dumps water on him and insists that the girls are bullied into sleeping with the Italians. Corelli sits up and asks if she thinks he wants to be here oppressing the Greeks. He apologizes for his role in the war. Pelagia mocks him for acting like a victim. Corelli offers no retort and instead feels a tune forming in his head that will portray Pelagia.
Though Corelli has a point, it's also important to keep in mind that by acting as though he has no power to stand up to those above him, Corelli remains complicit in the horrors of the war. Carlo, on the other hand, is able to feel far more righteous because he stood up to those in power by writing the pamphlet.
Themes
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History and Storytelling Theme Icon