Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

General Gandin Character Analysis

The Italian officer in charge of controlling the Italian troops on Cephalonia. Corelli describes him as someone who rose to the top by following orders, but who doesn't know how to give them. In the weeks before the Italians surrender to the Allies, Gandin tells the troops to trust the Germans rather than disarm them. After the Italians surrender, he's paralyzed by indecision and refuses to issue orders to the troops.

General Gandin Quotes in Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

The Captain Corelli’s Mandolin quotes below are all either spoken by General Gandin or refer to General Gandin. 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:
War: Horror, Beauty, and Humanity Theme Icon
). 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 51 Quotes

"If he had an impulse that quickened the seeds of his inactivity, it was foolish hope and the desperate need to spare the blood of the hapless men he loved. He took a sightless road and shortly condemned them to a grisly doom, failing to see in the Nazi promises so thick a mask of falsehood that by trusting them he condemned his beautiful youngsters to abandon their bones..."

Related Characters: General Gandin
Page Number: 296
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 52 Quotes

The general had an obsession with Stukas. The thought of those crook-winged howling birds of destruction made his stomach turn with dread. Perhaps he did not know that from a military point of view they were one of the most ineffective weapons of war ever devised...

Related Characters: General Gandin
Page Number: 304
Explanation and Analysis:
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General Gandin Character Timeline in Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

The timeline below shows where the character General Gandin appears in Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 24. A Most Ungracious Surrender
War: Horror, Beauty, and Humanity Theme Icon
Politics and Friendship Theme Icon
...the peaceful beauty of the island. Corelli is a consummate jokester, loves children, mocks General Gandin, and loves to make ladies blush. He runs the opera group La Scala, which performs... (full context)
Chapter 43. The Great Big Spiky Rustball
War: Horror, Beauty, and Humanity Theme Icon
Power, Reality, and Absurdity Theme Icon
Politics and Friendship Theme Icon
...house with snails, 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... (full context)
Chapter 50. A Time of Hiatus
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Politics and Friendship Theme Icon
...have to surrender before the Germans do. He says they can't get married, and General Gandin won't let the Italians disarm the Germans now. Pelagia sees Father Arsenios and Bunnios and... (full context)
Chapter 51. Paralysis
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Power, Reality, and Absurdity Theme Icon
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The narrator asks the reader to imagine if Homer had written about General Gandin. Homer would've written that Gandin was vague, foolish, and couldn't make decisions. Gandin wanted to... (full context)
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...beginning of September, but the Germans were ready: they sent troops to Cephalonia to prepare. Gandin doesn't order counter-preparations. La Scala stops meeting at Dr. Iannis's house and all the Germans... (full context)
Politics and Friendship Theme Icon
...the Germans are sure to lose. The next day, General Barge moves troops and General Gandin attempts to contact Rome. Pelagia and Dr. Iannis prepare medical supplies and Corelli attempts unsuccessfully... (full context)
Chapter 52. Developments
Power, Reality, and Absurdity Theme Icon
...game of powerful men. The Germans are flying in more reinforcements and he wonders if Gandin even listens to the radio. The Italians greatly outnumber the Germans and yet they've been... (full context)
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General Gandin calls Colonel Barge to tell him that he's withdrawn infantry from Kardakata in a token... (full context)
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Politics and Friendship Theme Icon
...partisans. At the same time, Weber feels relieved that the German reinforcements are arriving. General Gandin asked for written guarantees for his men's safety, but Weber thinks they'll teach them a... (full context)
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Power, Reality, and Absurdity Theme Icon
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General Gandin asks chaplains for advice. They disagree on whether to give in or fight. Gandin fears... (full context)
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...of a code word. It says that prisoners are to be treated as traitors. General Gandin speaks anxiously with one of his men, trying to decipher conflicting orders and figure out... (full context)
Chapter 53. First Blood
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...watch more German reinforcements arrive and Appollonio curses when he receives a call saying that Gandin has agreed to a truce. He receives a message of support from Corelli. (full context)
Chapter 55. Victory
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General Gandin goes against what his men want and agrees with Colonel Barge: the Italian soldiers should... (full context)
War: Horror, Beauty, and Humanity Theme Icon
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...never meant to evacuate the Italians. Weber knows he'll have to kill his friends, and Gandin knows that his indecision has condemned his men to die. The planes drop bombs on... (full context)
War: Horror, Beauty, and Humanity Theme Icon
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...strategic importance to anyone, however, nobody comes to help and nobody follows the few orders Gandin does give. German troops continue to arrive as displaced villagers run to Argostoli for shelter. (full context)