Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin


Louis De Bernières

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Captain Corelli’s Mandolin: Chapter 66 Summary & Analysis

The British arrive first to provide relief and Italy soon sends firemen. The Americans send bulldozers and the Brits toil for days in the heat, blowing up unsafe buildings and scaring the islanders. Helicopter crews drop supplies for remote villages. Velisarios emerges as a leader. Now 42, he feels as though the earthquake has given him eternal stamina. He helps clear rubble from houses and wells and shuts down silly rumors. He coaxes Pelagia out to set bones and puts Drosoula in charge of tending children so their parents can help.
For Velisarios, the earthquake makes him understand that it's necessary to give people someone to rally around so they don't abandon themselves to grief or panic. In doing so, he mimics Metaxas (remember the narrator said that Metaxas thought of himself as a doctor for Greece), though because Velisarios works on a smaller scale, he does no harm.
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The earthquake's aftershocks continue for three months. The villagers live in tents that wash away with every storm and in three years, the Grecian villages are all rebuilt. Pelagia's is moved down the hill, forcing her to abandon her childhood home and the trapdoor. One afternoon, an Italian fireman inspects the house and notices a fissure in the earth. He looks down and sees Carlo's skeleton. Moments after the fireman begins to rebury Carlo, the earth moves again and closes the fissure.
When the fireman decides to rebury Carlo, it shows that he understands that Carlo is a man who deserves to be treated with respect, even in death. Allowing the reader to glimpse Carlo also acts as a reminder that the dead can still influence the living and be a part of living families if they continue to remember them.
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