Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin Chapter 8 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
A few mornings later, Dr. Iannis prepares to leave for the kapheneia to eat breakfast and argue with Kokolios about communism. He imagines shutting down Kokolios's arguments definitively when Lemoni tugs on his sleeve and asks him to come--she found "a funny kind of cat." Dr. Iannis is disappointed that he'll have to postpone his argument with Kokolios, but he agrees to follow Lemoni. Lemoni leads him quickly down the road, through an olive grove, and then through a patch of scrub. 
The decision to follow a child like this shows that in addition to thinking that women are deserving of dignity and respect, children are as well. This begins to show that as far as Dr. Iannis is concerned, humanity is all deserving of respect--an idea that sets him apart from Stamatis, as well as from Hitler and Mussolini.
Themes
War: Horror, Beauty, and Humanity Theme Icon
Power, Reality, and Absurdity Theme Icon
Family, Opportunity, and Gender Dynamics Theme Icon
Lemoni and Dr. Iannis emerge in a clearing with a barbed-wire fence running through it. Lemoni points vaguely towards the tired "cat," but Dr. Iannis sighs and explains it's actually a pine marten that's caught in the barbed wire. Dr. Iannis insists that it'd be best to kill it, which makes Lemoni cry. She strokes the marten and ignores Dr. Iannis's warnings that it may bite her and give her rabies. He kneels down and decides, for Lemoni's sake, to rescue the animal and kill it at home. He carefully unwinds it from the fence as Lemoni watches and then examines where the barb of the fence pierced the skin. It's superficial; the marten is likely just dehydrated. Dr. Iannis tells Lemoni the marten is a girl and puts it in his pocket.
Here, Dr. Iannis shows that he believes in acting humanely and doing what's best for his patients, even if it's something difficult or unpleasant. His choice to save the pine marten also shows that he respects both the feelings of a child like Lemoni and the life of the marten, which he implies isn't at risk as he thought at first. In this way, he's able to do a kind thing for both Lemoni and the marten by saving it.
Themes
War: Horror, Beauty, and Humanity Theme Icon
Family, Opportunity, and Gender Dynamics Theme Icon
At home, Dr. Iannis finds Mandras and Pelagia flirting. Mandras explains that his nail wound is giving him trouble, but Dr. Iannis insists he's only here to flirt with Pelagia. In an annoyed tone he gives Mandras permission to talk to Pelagia, asks her to grind up dead mice and gather straw, and then goes inside. Dr. Iannis drips goat's milk into the marten's mouth and decides to kill it later.
The fact that Dr. Iannis is feeding the pine marten implies that he's not actually going to kill it, which, once again, casts Dr. Iannis as a fundamentally kind person who recognizes the dignity and the humanity of all living things.
Themes
War: Horror, Beauty, and Humanity Theme Icon
Family, Opportunity, and Gender Dynamics Theme Icon