Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin Chapter 48 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
La Scala is gathered at Dr. Iannis's house and Weber tells Corelli that Italians are making off with Greeks' ration cards. Dr. Iannis confirms that this is happening, and Corelli promises to put a stop to it. Weber points out that Corelli is very ready to defend the Greeks and asks why he's even in Greece. Corelli replies that he doesn't want to be a jerk and doesn't think he's better than everyone else, as the Nazis do. Weber, Carlo, and Corelli argue about whether the Nazi beliefs are scientific and if science makes them right morally. Weber insists they are right because strength wins every time; Corelli insists that it's important to do the right thing and protect the weak.
Weber's arguments here betray that though he is friends with Corelli, La Scala, and Dr. Iannis, his beliefs dictate that he must deny his friends' humanity and, therefore, devalue them and their friendships. Corelli, on the other hand, understands that it's far more important to behave in a way that makes an individual feel as though they're doing the right thing, which is something he can do without a political framework.
Themes
War: Horror, Beauty, and Humanity Theme Icon
Power, Reality, and Absurdity Theme Icon
Politics and Friendship Theme Icon
Related Quotes
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Weber hears Pelagia in the kitchen and suggests they bring one of the prostitutes to even out the gender divide. When Pelagia insists that Dr. Iannis would throw them out, Weber jokes that La Scala could bring armored cars and come anyway. Nobody laughs. One of the tenors suggests they sing, so Weber fetches his gramophone and plays Marlene Dietrich. Corelli plays along on his mandolin. The entire village listens and Pelagia touches the gramophone. Weber promises that after the war, he'll leave it with her. Touched, she kisses him on the cheek.
Marlene Dietrich was bisexual and was one of the most successful performers to denounce the war and the Nazis in particular. Weber's affinity for her implies that though he's a Nazi through and through, he does have the ability to recognize the humanity and the power of people different from him and opposed to him.
Themes
War: Horror, Beauty, and Humanity Theme Icon
History and Storytelling Theme Icon
Politics and Friendship Theme Icon