Alexi adds the rifle to his collection and Iannis is shocked when Pelagia weeps at the sight of the mandolin. She cries over every item and then repeats the process, again and again. She plays the Marlene Dietrich records and Iannis tries to comfort her. He patiently looks on as she flips through the photo album pointing out Weber, Mandras, Carlo, Kokolios and Stamatis, and Corelli. Iannis is struck by the realization that the present captured in those photos is gone, and realizes that someday, he'll die.
For Pelagia, discovering these items allows her to connect to her past and remember the good times. Iannis's realization that he'll die shows that the past is a valuable tool, as it reminds individuals of their mortality and encourages them to keep living. By playing the mandolin, Iannis will be able to keep Corelli's memory alive for Pelagia.
Eventually, Pelagia recovers and buys Iannis mandolin strings. Spiridon cleans the mandolin and begins teaching Iannis to play. Iannis is hooked immediately and cares for the mandolin as though it's the most precious thing he'll ever own. By the time he's thirteen, Iannis has mostly given up on trying to impress girls, who seem more like aliens than people.
Iannis's shift away from trying to use the mandolin to achieve his goals in turn encourages him to use the mandolin to connect with himself and leads him towards coming of age.