Pelagia Quotes in Captain Corelli’s Mandolin
For Lemoni there would be no freedom until widowhood, which was precisely the time when the community would turn against her, as though she had no right to outlive a husband, as though he had died only because of his wife's negligence. This was why one had to have sons; it was the only insurance against an indigent and terrifying old age.
It occurred to Pelagia that perhaps the same scene had been enacted generation after generation since Mycenean times; perhaps in the time of Odysseus there had been young girls like herself who had gone to the sea in order to spy on the nakedness of those they loved. She shivered at the thought of such a melting into history.
As she reached for it she realized for the first time, and with a small shock, that she had learned enough from her father over the years to become a doctor herself. If there was such a thing as a doctor who was also a woman. She toyed with the idea, and then went to look for a paintbrush, as though this action could cancel the uncomfortable sensation of having been born into the wrong world.
"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?"
"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."
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.
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.
"I don't have your advantages, Günter."
"Yes. I don't have the advantage of thinking that other races are inferior to mine. I don't feel entitled, that's all."
"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."
"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."