Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin Chapter 46 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
At dawn, Alekos rises and picks up his rifle to check on his goats. He's already shot two bandits who tried to steal his goats. Alekos is aware that there's a war and loves watching the searchlights and flashes, though he knows that people in the villages are starving. He thinks nothing of it when he hears a plane overhead, but he looks up and sees what he's certain is an angel dropping under a white mushroom. Alekos watches the angel hit his head on a rock when he hits the ground. For two days, Alekos feeds the angel honey and yogurt. When the angel begins to speak, Alekos has no idea what it's saying, but he can tell it's frustrated that he doesn't understand.
All of what Alekos says about the bandits suggests that he's coming into contact with ELAS. However, because of his role as a mostly outside observer, he's able to see the war as something visually appealing that doesn't really affect him. The simple fact that he has honey and yogurt when people in the villages are starving makes it clear that not everyone will suffer through the war like Pelagia and Dr. Iannis are.
Themes
War: Horror, Beauty, and Humanity Theme Icon
Perplexingly, the angel speaks to God through a big metal box. God even talks back. After four days, Alekos motions to the angel and it follows him to Dr. Iannis's house. Because the angel scowls when there are Italians or Germans nearby, Alekos understands that God is on the Greeks' side. They reach Dr. Iannis's house at three in the morning. Alekos explains he brought an angel and slips away.
While Alekos's interpretation of events is humorous, he's able to make these assessments because the war hasn't affected him enough for him to understand that this "angel" is actually a British spy who's talking to higher-ups, not God.
Themes
War: Horror, Beauty, and Humanity Theme Icon
Power, Reality, and Absurdity Theme Icon
History and Storytelling Theme Icon
The angel introduces himself as Bunnios, but Dr. Iannis can barely understand anything he says. He invites Bunnios in and Pelagia is shocked to see a tall man dressed in a fustanella, the festival dress of the mainland. Finally, they realize that Bunnios is speaking ancient Greek and Dr. Iannis asks that they speak English. Bunnios is relieved; he's upset that he speaks Greek and yet no one understands him. They learn that Bunnios is a spy. Dr. Iannis is thrilled to be able to trade some regular clothes for the fustanella, as he's wanted a set for a long time. He instructs Bunnios to be quiet until he learns Greek, warns him about the rebels, and sends him off. Bunnios lives with Italians, sometimes walks with Father Arsenios, and reports weekly to the British forces.
Bunnios parachuting into Greece with only a grasp of ancient Greek only heightens the absurdity of the war. This also reinforces that most powers in World War Two don't see Greece as particularly important, given that they clearly didn't do their research as to what language Bunnios needs to speak or how he should dress. This shows that in stereotyping the Greeks, the British are actually hurting their ability to do anything meaningful through Bunnios.
Themes
Power, Reality, and Absurdity Theme Icon