Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin Chapter 73 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Pelagia shrieks and curses at Corelli as he dodges frying pans and her broomstick. He insists that he returned for her in 1946, but when he saw her with a baby he figured she was married. He came back every year but was too bitter to say anything. She hurls insults at him until he asks if they can go for a walk. Two hours later, they sit at the beach. Corelli explains the postcards written in Greek; he was so ashamed after the war that he moved to Athens and is now a Greek citizen. Pelagia admits that she was so ashamed of being Greek that she wishes she were Italian.
When Corelli chose to move to Athens and become a Greek citizen, it was a way for him to distance himself from what the Italians did during the war. This is one way for him to try to atone for his role in the atrocities and a way for him to also feel more human. By aligning himself with the people who were his true friends during the war, he's able to find some peace.
Themes
War: Horror, Beauty, and Humanity Theme Icon
History and Storytelling Theme Icon
Politics and Friendship Theme Icon
Corelli says he wrote three concertos and "Pelagia's March" is the main theme of one of them. They discuss the earthquake; Corelli had joined the Italian fire brigade and volunteered for the relief effort. Neither of them got married and Pelagia laments that she's old and ugly now. She reminds Corelli that Antonia could've been the product of rape and tells him about shooting Mandras. Corelli shows Pelagia the handkerchief he used to wipe the blood off her face when they were looking for snails.
The comment about "Pelagia's March" suggests that it's very possible that Pelagia did hear it on the radio at some point. The realization that Corelli didn't get married either suggests that without Pelagia, his other dreams of having children didn't come true and he wasn't able to have the family he desired.
Themes
Family, Opportunity, and Gender Dynamics Theme Icon
They head back to the taverna and Pelagia gives Carlo's papers to Corelli to read. Corelli says he wishes that he hadn't read them and feels bad for how the boys used to make Carlo visit the brothel. He notes that he tracked down Weber, now a pastor, but Weber was a pathetic mess. Pelagia admits that she still has trouble being nice to Germans, and they both discuss that the world is apologizing for past crimes. Pelagia ignores Corelli's personal apology and turns the conversation to Iannis and music. Corelli says he knows Spiridon because Spiridon is somewhat famous.
Even if Carlo's story makes Corelli uncomfortable, it still stands as one of the more truthful accounts of what it was like to be a soldier in the war during that time. Essentially, it still serves its purpose by adding nuance and greater understanding to the  narrative of the war. Corelli's mention of Weber suggests that unlike Mandras, Weber is trying to atone for what he did in life.
Themes
War: Horror, Beauty, and Humanity Theme Icon
History and Storytelling Theme Icon
Politics and Friendship Theme Icon
Corelli asks if he can buy the old house and fix it up. Pelagia isn't sure if she even owns the land and sidesteps giving him permission. She tells him that Lemoni is now a grandmother and very fat, but she still talks about Corelli and the mine. Corelli promises to return the next day with a gift and leaves Pelagia with a Walkman and a cassette. Later, Pelagia figures out how to use it and spends the entire night listening to "Pelagia's March" over and over again. She listens to the entire occupation in musical form and tells Iannis that Corelli is going to rebuild the old house.
Telling Iannis that Corelli is going to buy the old house suggests that Pelagia's introduction to the final concerto has allowed her to connect to Corelli in such a way as to look past the years he didn't come back for her. Instead, she's able to understand that he did love her and did what he could to show her, by putting that music out into the world.
Themes
War: Horror, Beauty, and Humanity Theme Icon
History and Storytelling Theme Icon
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The next day, Corelli arrives at the taverna with a goat. He reminds Pelagia that he promised her a goat after hers was stolen and tells her that he got this one from Alekos on Mt. Aenos. Pelagia warms to the goat and agrees to keep it. The next day, he shows up with a rented motorcycle. Pelagia refuses to ride it but tries not to smile when she notices he's wearing the waistcoat she made. Finally, she agrees to ride with him. He's just as bad a driver as he was in his youth. A gray moped with three girls, all in skimpy white dresses, passes them. Corelli feels a melody starting in his heart as he watches the beautiful young girls zoom by.
The fact that Alekos is still alive suggests that there's still an outside observer who will be able to look down on Greece and see that it's beautiful from afar. By recreating an experience from their past that's also connected to music, Corelli and Pelagia are able to forgive each other for the years apart and begin to move forward with their relationship from where they left off.
Themes
War: Horror, Beauty, and Humanity Theme Icon
Family, Opportunity, and Gender Dynamics Theme Icon