Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin


Louis De Bernières

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Captain Corelli’s Mandolin: Chapter 41 Summary & Analysis

Dr. Iannis looks out the window to see Corelli sneaking up on Lemoni. Psipsina settles herself on his writing, and the doctor has a splendid idea. He interrupts Corelli and Lemoni and asks her if she can show him where she found Psipsina, a part of the forest teeming with snails. She agrees to take him there in the evening. Dr. Iannis insists to Corelli that they need the protein, so Corelli offers to help collect snails. That evening, Corelli, Pelagia, and Dr. Iannis follow Lemoni. They all begin to fill their buckets with fat snails.
The decision to gather snails is one borne out of necessity thanks to the food shortages caused by the war. However, notice that the tone of this passage isn't one of desperation; it's humorous and fun, which again shows that even times like this can be beautiful in some ways.
War: Horror, Beauty, and Humanity Theme Icon
Lemoni and Dr. Iannis disappear into one tunnel and Corelli and Pelagia move down another. Corelli feels content until he hears Pelagia yelling. He finds her on her knees, her hair caught in a bramble and a cut across her cheek. He laughs at her and dabs at her cheek with a handkerchief. When he finally untangles her hair, he kisses her cheek softly. Inexplicably, she begins to cry and finally says she can't stand it anymore. They kiss until dusk. Lemoni shames them for collecting fewer snails together than she did alone.
When Lemoni takes Corelli and Pelagia to task for kissing and not working, it's an initial indicator that they're passing into dangerous territory. Their romance will mean that they're in danger of persecution from anyone who deems their relationship improper, including children.
Power, Reality, and Absurdity Theme Icon
Politics and Friendship Theme Icon
Family, Opportunity, and Gender Dynamics Theme Icon