Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin Chapter 64 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Drosoula and Pelagia aren't surprised when they find a baby girl on their doorstep. She's calm and smiles all the time, and Pelagia names her Antonia after Corelli's mandolin. Drosoula and Pelagia find purpose in caring for Antonia, who never asks about a father. Dr. Iannis returns after two years in a concentration camp. He kisses Antonia before going to bed. He spends the rest of his life dreaming of forced marches and watches Stamatis and Kokolios dying in each other's arms again and again. He plays with Antonia and helps Pelagia act as a doctor. Pelagia attempts to get him to work on his History, but he can only write one paragraph that the Greeks have only themselves to blame.
The fact that Antonia is adopted again reinforces the novel's assertion that chosen family can be more meaningful than blood family. It also allows Pelagia and Drosoula a way to give back and help their shattered community. When Dr. Iannis also accepts Antonia without question and is happy to be her grandfather, it indicates that Antonia's love and happiness is powerful enough to make life more bearable for Dr. Iannis.
Themes
Family, Opportunity, and Gender Dynamics Theme Icon
Pelagia rediscovers Carlo's papers when she fetches the History out of the trapdoor and reads them in an evening. She understands that he'd been equally intent on ending his life and saving Corelli's, and Pelagia understands that she'd do the same for Antonia. Antonia grows up tall, slender, and indifferent to acting ladylike. Pelagia understands that in their house run by women, she has only herself to blame for Antonia's wildness. The entire village finds the family eccentric and even starts rumors that Drosoula and Pelagia are witches. They continue to come to Pelagia for medical attention until Pelagia is unable to bribe a public health official to let her practice without a license.
When the village begins to call Pelagia and Drosoula witches, Pelagia discovers that she's still living in a man's world: it was okay for Dr. Iannis, a man, to be a doctor, but as a woman, Pelagia will be punished for stepping outside of what she was supposed to do with her life. Because Pelagia doesn't say much about doing anything to curb Antonia's wildness, it implies that she doesn't necessarily see much wrong with allowing her to behave in an unladylike fashion--or, in a way that's more masculine.
Themes
Family, Opportunity, and Gender Dynamics Theme Icon
Fortunately, a depressed Canadian poet arrives and rents Drosoula's old house for nearly ten times what she'd planned to ask. He stays for three years until 1953 and would've stayed longer if he hadn't realized that the sunshine was hurting his depressing poetry. During his stay, Pelagia, Drosoula, Antonia, and Dr. Iannis do well for themselves. Their only issue is that they adopt a cat that they call Psipsina, which also happens to be Antonia's nickname.
This period in the family's life suggests that they manage to discover the beauty even in these hard times, just as they did during the war. This implies that the necessity of finding beauty isn't something unique to wartime; it's something that must happen at all times.
Themes
War: Horror, Beauty, and Humanity Theme Icon
Pelagia believes that Corelli is surely dead and, in 1946, learns that ghosts are real. Around the anniversary of the massacres she sees Corelli at the far end of her courtyard. She quickly puts the infant Antonia down and runs to meet him, but he disappears. Pelagia calls for him but can't find him. The next day, there's a red rose on Carlo's grave. She sees the ghost every year at about the same time and every year, there's a rose on Carlo's grave. She understands that Corelli is following through on his promise to return to her from the afterlife.
When Pelagia is able to convince herself that Corelli is still following through, just in a different way than she expected, it again shows that families don't have to form in conventional ways. Rather, Pelagia can feel comforted and not alone because Corelli is able to be there for her in some way, even if it's just a figment of her imagination.
Themes
Family, Opportunity, and Gender Dynamics Theme Icon
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