Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin Chapter 61 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
On Corelli's last day in Cephalonia, he stays at Dr. Iannis's. He looks enough like a Greek and speaks well enough that he'd likely fool a German. Corelli finds that when he speaks Greek, he feels fiercer. He sits at the table with Dr. Iannis and Pelagia and admits he feels guilty for leaving Carlo. Dr. Iannis encourages him to live on Carlo's behalf and enjoy music for the La Scala boys. He also says he'll give Corelli permission to marry Pelagia as long as he allows her to become a doctor. Corelli jokes that as a musician he'll need her income. Dr. Iannis tells Corelli that he's always welcome in his house.
Corelli's assessment of his own Greek-ness again foreshadows his decision to apply for Greek citizenship later, as being Greek makes him feel more like a whole, good person. It allows him to distance himself from the atrocities that Italy committed during the war and lets him assume a new identity. Dr. Iannis's condition shows that he believes fully in what he's done for Pelagia by teaching her to think.
Themes
War: Horror, Beauty, and Humanity Theme Icon
Power, Reality, and Absurdity Theme Icon
History and Storytelling Theme Icon
Family, Opportunity, and Gender Dynamics Theme Icon
Related Quotes
The men embrace and Corelli promises to return after the Nazis are defeated. Pelagia is indignant that he's going to go back to the army and tells him to join the fire brigade or do something else useful. Dr. Iannis excuses himself and leaves Pelagia and Corelli alone. They hold each other and Corelli again promises to come back. They decide to read Carlo's papers when Corelli returns. Bunnios fetches them at eleven. He gives them instructions as to how to proceed to a hidden cove and before they leave, Pelagia gives Corelli the waistcoat. It fits perfectly.
When the waistcoat fits Corelli perfectly, even though it wasn't made for him, it suggests that he's a more worthy recipient of the coat due to some outside force of nature. Deciding to wait on Carlo's writings allows Pelagia and Corelli to maintain a vision of Carlo in their minds that doesn't entirely match up with who he truly was, though in doing so, it means that they don't have to grieve and learn about Carlo's sexuality at the same time.
Themes
History and Storytelling Theme Icon
Family, Opportunity, and Gender Dynamics Theme Icon
The trek to the cove is long, cold, and quiet. They finally reach the cove and wait for the signal from the boat. Corelli remembers frolicking on the beach with the prostitutes and La Scala, and he feels as though he's nearly Greek now. When Bunnios receives the signal from the boat, Corelli kisses Pelagia and wades out to it. Pelagia sobs.
Corelli's memory of frolicking with the prostitutes reminds the reader that the occupation was full of beauty and friendship, despite being war. However, the current situation suggests that the beauty could never continue; the war would always destroy it.
Themes
War: Horror, Beauty, and Humanity Theme Icon