Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

Captain Antonio Corelli Character Analysis

Captain Corelli is the captain of the Italian 33rd Infantry division. He only takes music, friendship, and romance seriously; he regularly mocks the war. Corelli is also an accomplished musician: he carries his mandolin, Antonia, with him everywhere and starts an opera group of soldiers he calls La Scala. After a few weeks on the island, he's sent to live with Dr. Iannis and Pelagia. When Pelagia and Dr. Iannis try to make his life miserable by humiliating him and making him feel like a horrible person, Corelli admits that he doesn't believe in the Italian invasion of Greece and actually wants to do what he can to make the invasion pleasant for the Greeks. He's able to win Pelagia over with his charm and his love of music, and the two fall in love. Corelli feels very guilty for the fact that he can't stop the war, but he does what he can to make sure that it's as fair as possible to the Greeks by punishing soldiers when they steal and sneaking food for Pelagia and Dr. Iannis. Corelli attempts to make the German soldier Weber see that all people are worthy of love and respect. When the Italians concede to the Allies, Corelli leads his division in fighting the Germans, against the orders of General Gandin. When the Italians lose, he leads his men singing to their deaths. He tells Weber, who's in charge of the firing squad, that he forgives him. Corelli survives because Carlo steps in front of him, while Dr. Iannis and Pelagia conduct surgery that saves him from his wounds. They smuggle him out of Greece when he's well enough to go, though by then he already feels more Greek than Italian. Though Pelagia doesn't know until later, Corelli came back for her as promised but thought she was married. He moved to Athens, became a Greek citizen, and wrote three concertos, one of which he called "Pelagia's March."

Captain Antonio Corelli Quotes in Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

The Captain Corelli’s Mandolin quotes below are all either spoken by Captain Antonio Corelli or refer to Captain Antonio Corelli. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
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). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Vintage edition of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin published in 1994.
Chapter 25 Quotes

"It had 'To The Glory Of The British People' inscribed on the obelisk. I have heard that some of your soldiers have chipped away the letters. Do you think you can so easily erase our history? Are you so stupid that you think that we will forget what it said?"

Related Characters: Dr. Iannis (speaker), Pelagia, Captain Antonio Corelli
Page Number: 169
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 27 Quotes

"I just don't understand why an artist like you would descend to being a soldier."

He frowned, "Don't have any silly ideas about soldiers. Soldiers have mothers, you know, and most of us end up as farmers and fishermen like everyone else."

Related Characters: Pelagia (speaker), Captain Antonio Corelli (speaker)
Page Number: 186
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 30 Quotes

Weber was still a virgin, his father was a Lutheran pastor, and he had grown up in the Austrian mountains, capable of hating Jews and gypsies only because he had never met one.

Related Characters: Captain Antonio Corelli (speaker), Carlo Piero Guercio (speaker), Günter Weber
Page Number: 201
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 31 Quotes

It came to her that she could actually shoot him when he came through the door, and then run away to join the andartes with it. The trouble was that he was no longer just an Italian, he was Captain Antonio Corelli, who played the mandolin and was very charming and respectful.

Related Characters: Captain Antonio Corelli (speaker), Pelagia
Page Number: 204
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 42 Quotes

But I know that she will never tell me that she is waiting for a new world where a Greek may love an Italian and think nothing of it.

Related Characters: Captain Antonio Corelli (speaker), Pelagia
Page Number: 250
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 43 Quotes

No one could recognize anybody else, and Italian and Greek peered into one another's faces, denationalized by coughing, by grime, and by mutual amazement.

Related Symbols: The Mine
Page Number: 260
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 48 Quotes

"I don't have your advantages, Günter."

"Advantages?"

"Yes. I don't have the advantage of thinking that other races are inferior to mine. I don't feel entitled, that's all."

Related Characters: Captain Antonio Corelli (speaker), Günter Weber (speaker), Pelagia, Carlo Piero Guercio
Page Number: 285
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 54 Quotes

"I wish that you will have children together, and I wish that once or twice you will tell them about their Uncle Carlo that they never saw."

Related Characters: Carlo Piero Guercio (speaker), Pelagia, Captain Antonio Corelli
Page Number: 313
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 61 Quotes

"You must allow Pelagia to become a doctor. She is not only my daughter. She is, since I have no son, the nearest to a son that I have fathered. She must have a son's prerogatives, because she will continue my life when I am gone. I have not brought her up to be a domestic slave, for the simple reason that such company would have been tedious in the absence of a son."

Related Characters: Dr. Iannis (speaker), Pelagia, Captain Antonio Corelli
Page Number: 350
Explanation and Analysis:
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Captain Antonio Corelli Character Timeline in Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

The timeline below shows where the character Captain Antonio Corelli appears in Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 23. April 30th, 1941
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...Iannis says in Italian that he doesn't speak Italian. A column led by Captain Antonio Corelli marches past and makes funny faces at Pelagia. She laughs, but Dr. Iannis tells her... (full context)
Chapter 24. A Most Ungracious Surrender
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...the Acqui Division. He's disillusioned, depressed, and still grieving Francisco, and is saved only by Corelli and the peaceful beauty of the island. Corelli is a consummate jokester, loves children, mocks... (full context)
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...of the light, the ancient olive trees, and the dignity of the islanders. According to Corelli, when the Italians asked the Greeks to surrender at the town hall in Argostoli, the... (full context)
Chapter 25. Resistance
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When the Italians leave, Dr. Iannis and Pelagia vow to be horrible to their officer. Corelli arrives that evening, driven by Carlo. Both men are entranced by the massive olive tree... (full context)
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Corelli anxiously insists he was joking with Pelagia, but Dr. Iannis wants to know about a... (full context)
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When Corelli learns he's to sleep in Pelagia's bed, he briskly says he'll sleep outside and then... (full context)
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Pelagia asks Corelli about Antonia. He explains that Antonia is his mandolin. He says he wants to be... (full context)
Chapter 26. Sharp Edges
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In the morning, Corelli waits anxiously for Carlo to pick him up. Carlo's jeep, however, is broken. Carlo begins... (full context)
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Dr. Iannis passes Corelli on his way to the kapheneia. Corelli shows Dr. Iannis his "cat" bite, which is... (full context)
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...Iannis's copy of The Complete and Concise Home Doctor. She does chores and thinks about Corelli. Mandras interrupts her reverie, having suddenly returned to normal on the day the Italians invaded.... (full context)
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That evening, Corelli notices a beautifully embroidered waistcoat hanging in the kitchen. Pelagia catches him inspecting it and... (full context)
Chapter 27. A Discourse on Mandolins and a Concert
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...on the kitchen floor. He kisses her on the cheek and heads to the kapheneia. Corelli wakes a bit later and also discovers Pelagia asleep on the floor. Not wanting to... (full context)
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Corelli comes out of the bedroom when he hears Pelagia in the kitchen. He apologizes for... (full context)
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Corelli asks Pelagia about her dream of becoming a doctor. She says she's not sure, as... (full context)
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That night, Dr. Iannis asks Corelli for a concert. Corelli spends minutes tapping the mandolin. Dr. Iannis finally asks what he's... (full context)
Chapter 29. Etiquette
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One morning, Corelli feels guilty for ousting Pelagia from her bed. He decides to learn how to say... (full context)
Chapter 30. The Good Nazi (1)
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...think the Germans are too serious, while the Germans think the Italians are culturally inferior. Corelli, however, becomes friends with one young German soldier, Günter Weber. Weber desperately wants to be... (full context)
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...afternoon when the Italian truck arrives at the beach, bearing La Scala and army prostitutes. Corelli likes to bring the women to the sea to cheer them up. Weber is a... (full context)
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Corelli asks Weber if he's "descended from the great composer." Weber is offended and insists his... (full context)
Chapter 31. A Problem with Eyes
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Pelagia treats Corelli as horribly as she can. She spends two months attempting to provoke a fight with... (full context)
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Corelli fishes his pistol out of the water and remarks that it must be hard for... (full context)
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As time goes on, Pelagia becomes upset as she realizes she's less angry. She enjoys Corelli's greetings and he plays amusingly with Psipsina. He's also curious and can sit watching Pelagia... (full context)
Chapter 33. A Problem with Hands
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One rainy evening, Pelagia pulls out parts of her bedcover and watches Corelli compose a sonata. She gets up to stand behind him and puts a hand on... (full context)
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Pelagia scoops Psipsina out of Corelli's lap and begins to brush at his wet and dirty breeches, but she haughtily leaves... (full context)
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Corelli thinks it's a blessing he often acts idiotically as he drops to all fours and... (full context)
Chapter 37. An Episode Confirming Pelagia's Belief that Men do not Know the Difference Between Bravery and a Lack of Common Sense
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Corelli nearly dies of shock when Father Arsenios interrupts his reading of the pamphlet. Arsenios merely... (full context)
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Carlo apologizes for Corelli's rudeness. Pelagia suggests the pamphlet could've been written by conspiring Greeks and Italians, and notes... (full context)
Chapter 38. The Origin of Pelagia's March
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One morning, Corelli wakes up hung over. His world spins and he groans that he wants to die.... (full context)
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Corelli insists that the local girls do well because of the Italian interest, which enrages Pelagia.... (full context)
Chapter 40. A Problem with Lips
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As Corelli and Pelagia pass each other going through the door, she, without thinking, kisses him on... (full context)
Chapter 41. Snails
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Dr. Iannis looks out the window to see Corelli sneaking up on Lemoni. Psipsina settles herself on his writing, and the doctor has a... (full context)
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Lemoni and Dr. Iannis disappear into one tunnel and Corelli and Pelagia move down another. Corelli feels content until he hears Pelagia yelling. He finds... (full context)
Chapter 42. How like a Woman is a Mandolin
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Corelli states that women are like mandolins. Pelagia's wrists remind him of the neck of a... (full context)
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Corelli tells Pelagia that he's composing a march for her and plays some of it. Suddenly,... (full context)
Chapter 43. The Great Big Spiky Rustball
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Pelagia hates preparing the snails. She's afraid that if she cooks them poorly then Corelli will like her less, but she receives conflicting information about how to prepare them. By... (full context)
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Pelagia's reverie is interrupted by Lemoni calling for Corelli. She comes every evening and tells Corelli about her day, even though Corelli still doesn't... (full context)
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The entire village goes with Corelli and Carlo to look at the mine. Carlo discovers that it's Turkish from the Great... (full context)
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Carlo returns with dynamite and a truckload of troops ready to enjoy the explosion. Corelli is annoyed, but Carlo says he can't move explosives alone because of the partisans. Corelli... (full context)
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Corelli arranges the dynamite and soldiers pile up sand around the mine. Finally, Corelli gets in... (full context)
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...and Pelagia is horrified to see that all her snails escaped. General Gandin later charges Corelli with acting without permission, because Axis troops swarmed to the island thinking the explosion was... (full context)
Chapter 44. Theft
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...them by their collars and drags them to Dr. Iannis's house. Dr. Iannis, Pelagia, and Corelli all come outside and are shocked by what they see, especially since the Italian soldiers... (full context)
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Corelli returns with his revolver and motions for both soldiers to lie on the ground. He... (full context)
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Two days later, Pelagia discovers her goat missing. Corelli finds her crying and promises to get her another goat, but she yells that the... (full context)
Chapter 45. A Time of Innocence
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Corelli and Pelagia spend their time kissing under the olive tree and going on walks. She... (full context)
Chapter 47. Dr. Iannis Counsels his Daughter
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...honey and brandy, but asks her to sit first. Dr. Iannis notes that Pelagia and Corelli are obviously in love with each other. He notes her blush, takes her hand, and... (full context)
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...family's honor is based on the conduct of its women. He admits that he likes Corelli a great deal, but reminds Pelagia that she's engaged to Mandras. Dr. Iannis insists that... (full context)
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Dr. Iannis tells Pelagia not to be ashamed, but says he's aware that she and Corelli are sexually attracted to each other. He says that he wouldn't help her with an... (full context)
Chapter 48. La Scala
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La Scala is gathered at Dr. Iannis's house and Weber tells Corelli that Italians are making off with Greeks' ration cards. Dr. Iannis confirms that this is... (full context)
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...of the tenors suggests they sing, so Weber fetches his gramophone and plays Marlene Dietrich. Corelli plays along on his mandolin. The entire village listens and Pelagia touches the gramophone. Weber... (full context)
Chapter 49. The Doctor Advises the Captain
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As Dr. Iannis and Corelli try to figure out an appropriate substitute for a mandolin string, Dr. Iannis abruptly asks... (full context)
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Dr. Iannis is touched but insists Corelli doesn't understand. He goes on to explain that all Greeks have two Greeks inside of... (full context)
Chapter 50. A Time of Hiatus
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One evening, Corelli asks Pelagia what they'll do when the Italians have to surrender before the Germans do.... (full context)
Chapter 51. Paralysis
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...each other. Weber feels betrayed by the Italians and wants to teach them a lesson. Corelli doesn't come home much, as his battery runs drills day and night. (full context)
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...as the church bells start to ring in Greece. He excitedly runs outside and tells Corelli everything is over since the Allies will help them now. Corelli insists that the Allies... (full context)
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...and General Gandin attempts to contact Rome. Pelagia and Dr. Iannis prepare medical supplies and Corelli attempts unsuccessfully to contact Greek partisans to ask for help. (full context)
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Corelli sits on a wall and thinks about Pelagia and home. He feels he has no... (full context)
Chapter 52. Developments
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Corelli tells the reader that he asked Pelagia and Dr. Iannis to take care of Antonia.... (full context)
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...news that the Germans killed an Italian officer and he suggests they hold a vote. Corelli agrees and says that if they have to, they'll arrest Gandin. In the morning, Gandin... (full context)
Chapter 53. First Blood
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...saying that Gandin has agreed to a truce. He receives a message of support from Corelli. (full context)
Chapter 54. Carlo's Farewell
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Carlo leaves a letter with his story for Corelli. He says he knows he's going to die and hopes that Corelli doesn't think less... (full context)
Chapter 55. Victory
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...indecision has condemned his men to die. The planes drop bombs on the Italian battery. Corelli and Appollonio understand that the Germans will try to destroy Argostoli because that's where most... (full context)
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...help the Italians. They refuse. Dr. Iannis and Pelagia sit in their kitchen, wondering if Corelli is dead. Stamatis and Kokolios knock on the door. They ask for Dr. Iannis's blessing... (full context)
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Corelli walks through the ruins of Argostoli. He notices a child's hand sticking out of a... (full context)
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...Italians to surrender and then shoot them. On September 22nd, after three days of fighting, Corelli knows that the Italians will have to surrender. He rides his motorcycle to Pelagia and... (full context)
Chapter 56. The Good Nazi (2)
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Corelli sits in a truck with his boys and encourages them to sing. Carlo begins to... (full context)
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...Weber watches his friends flail and die. He doesn't see Carlo step in front of Corelli and hold Corelli's wrists so that the bullets don't hit him. Carlo takes bullet after... (full context)
Chapter 57. Fire
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...He thinks it's improper to leave Carlo there and so picks him up. He notices Corelli underneath, still alive. Velisarios takes him to Dr. Iannis. The narrator notes that between four... (full context)
Chapter 58. Surgery and Obsequy
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...Iannis's door open, Pelagia thinks it's the Germans. She's shocked to see Velisarios. Velisarios deposits Corelli on the table and Corelli weakly greets Pelagia. She runs for the kapheneia and bursts... (full context)
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...when he suggests he's not qualified. He's too intimidated to resist again. He discovers that Corelli has six bullets in him and a nasty cut on his cheek. He knows that... (full context)
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...he extracts the first bullet and notices how flat it is, he asks rhetorically how Corelli is alive. Velisarios explains that Carlo stood in front of Corelli. Pelagia and the doctor... (full context)
Chapter 59. The Historical Cachette
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Soon, the Germans become interested in taking valuables from the Greeks. Dr. Iannis moves Corelli to the secret room under the trapdoor. They leave the door open unless they hear... (full context)
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Corelli spikes a fever two days later. Pelagia watches for infection and Dr. Iannis assures her... (full context)
Chapter 60. The Beginning of her Sorrows
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The narrator notes that later, Pelagia would look on the time during which she nursed Corelli as the beginning of her sorrows. She's thin and weak and passes her extra food... (full context)
Chapter 61. Every Parting is a Foretaste of Death
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On Corelli's last day in Cephalonia, he stays at Dr. Iannis's. He looks enough like a Greek... (full context)
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The men embrace and Corelli promises to return after the Nazis are defeated. Pelagia is indignant that he's going to... (full context)
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...and quiet. They finally reach the cove and wait for the signal from the boat. Corelli remembers frolicking on the beach with the prostitutes and La Scala, and he feels as... (full context)
Chapter 62. Of the German Occupation
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...Marlene Dietrich records, and an envelope outside Pelagia's door. The envelope contained a photo of Corelli and Weber at the beach, obviously drunk, with a prostitute in the background. Weber wrote... (full context)
Chapter 63. Liberation
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...by Greek communists and shot. Fortunately, Pelagia has Drosoula. Drosoula doesn't hold Pelagia's love for Corelli against her and treats her like a daughter. (full context)
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...comes upon Pelagia finishing her bedcover, which she decided to make for her bed with Corelli after he left. After she made that decision, she didn't have to rip it out... (full context)
Chapter 64. Antonia
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...their doorstep. She's calm and smiles all the time, and Pelagia names her Antonia after Corelli's mandolin. Drosoula and Pelagia find purpose in caring for Antonia, who never asks about a... (full context)
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...an evening. She understands that he'd been equally intent on ending his life and saving Corelli's, and Pelagia understands that she'd do the same for Antonia. Antonia grows up tall, slender,... (full context)
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Pelagia believes that Corelli is surely dead and, in 1946, learns that ghosts are real. Around the anniversary of... (full context)
Chapter 65. 1953
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...feels she catches the final bars of "Pelagia's March," but reasons that it's impossible since Corelli is dead. (full context)
Chapter 67. Pelagia's Lament
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...spends all her time at the house thinking that her life could've been different had Corelli lived. Pelagia mourns her father's death and remembers Velisarios digging him out. In that moment,... (full context)
Chapter 69. Bean by Bean the Sack Fills
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...in Greek and she wonders if Dr. Iannis's soul is traveling or if they're from Corelli, but reasons they're both dead. She keeps them anyway. Antonia teases Pelagia about a secret... (full context)
Chapter 70. Excavation
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...even the stony-faced Germans dance. Both Pelagia and Iannis worship Spiridon; he reminds Pelagia of Corelli. (full context)
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...Naples when they're there next, but they promptly forget. Pelagia suggests that they dig up Corelli's old mandolin. (full context)
Chapter 71. Antonia Sings Again
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...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,... (full context)
Chapter 72. An Unexpected Lesson
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...plays but suddenly, the man stops short and says that the mandolin is his Antonia. Corelli realizes that Iannis's grandmother is Pelagia. (full context)
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Corelli asks if the mandolin had missing strings and tells Iannis that the strings are in... (full context)
Chapter 73. Restitution
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Pelagia shrieks and curses at Corelli as he dodges frying pans and her broomstick. He insists that he returned for her... (full context)
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Corelli says he wrote three concertos and "Pelagia's March" is the main theme of one of... (full context)
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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... (full context)
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Corelli asks if he can buy the old house and fix it up. Pelagia isn't sure... (full context)
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The next day, Corelli arrives at the taverna with a goat. He reminds Pelagia that he promised her a... (full context)