Drosoula, Pelagia, and Antonia become even closer, but Pelagia wallows in guilt and remorse. She fixates on the fact that while Dr. Iannis tried to save them, she only thought about saving herself. She spends all of her time sitting at his grave with a candle. One day, Drosoula tells Antonia about Corelli and says that Dr. Iannis's death tipped her over the edge. They conspire to bring Pelagia to her senses.
Pelagia's sense of loss regarding her life and her family suggests that she's still adjusting to the fact that she no longer has any blood family; she doesn't necessarily see that Drosoula and Antonia could be enough to get her through if only she'd let them help.
At breakfast the next morning, Drosoula and Antonia brightly discuss that they had dreams about Dr. Iannis the night before. They tell a distraught Pelagia that he told both of them that he wants her to write his History of Cephalonia, and Antonia asks her if she's going to. Pelagia goes to the cemetery and realizes that she can keep his memory alive by finishing his history. She nearly becomes her father as she works; she neglects housework and chews on his pipe. As she writes, she discovers that she's almost more passionate than he was.
Drosoula and Antonia's trick, as well as Pelagia's assessment of the power of writing the History, shows that they all understand that the History is a valuable document because it tells the story of small people who got caught up in the war. It's a personal account and by adding her own touches to Dr. Iannis's history, Pelagia will be able to remember her father and make the story more truthful by adding more perspectives.
Pelagia writes letters to museums and libraries around the world, asking for information. Many of them write back and send her all sorts of information. Finally, she finishes the History in 1961, though nobody will publish it. Pelagia flips through and realizes that she discovered that she's Marxist, but believes that capitalism is most appropriate for dealing with problems. Drosoula won't listen, so Pelagia sits up late with teenage Antonia and they discuss politics and philosophy.
By engaging in these political and philosophical conversations with Antonia, Pelagia continues Dr. Iannis's work of teaching daughters to think. In this way, Pelagia ensures that Antonia will also be able to go out in life and break molds, though with the hope that her world will be better than Pelagia's.
Pelagia torments Antonia and repeatedly tells her that when Antonia is old, she'll see that her mother is right. Antonia declares that she'll die young so she never has to get old. At seventeen, Antonia announces she's a communist and is getting married.
Now that Pelagia is aging, she recognizes that one's political beliefs change over time and are malleable. This casts youth as a whole as an idealistic and somewhat misguided time.