Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin


Louis De Bernières

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Captain Corelli’s Mandolin: Chapter 59 Summary & Analysis

Soon, the Germans become interested in taking valuables from the Greeks. Dr. Iannis moves Corelli to the secret room under the trapdoor. They leave the door open unless they hear Germans, and Pelagia sits with Corelli and they listen to the Germans beat Dr. Iannis. Corelli sleeps for a day and then wakes in excruciating pain. Dr. Iannis sits with him and apologizes for stealing two mandolin strings to bind his broken ribs. They discuss Carlo's death and Dr. Iannis tells him that he needs to grow a beard and learn Greek. He suggests that when Corelli is better, they'll move him to Casa Nostra.
When Dr. Iannis admits that he used mandolin strings in his surgery, it reinforces the novel's insistence that music and life are intimately connected: here, the mandolin very clearly allows Corelli to heal and to go on living. Asking Corelli to become effectively Greek for his safety foreshadows Corelli's later transformation to becoming even more Greek by choice.
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Corelli spikes a fever two days later. Pelagia watches for infection and Dr. Iannis assures her that he'll be okay, but he's privately sure that Corelli will die. Corelli spends six days feverish but finally, the fever breaks.
It's easy to link Corelli's survival to the mandolin strings and to Pelagia's love, which again suggests that love and music can help a person live.
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