Captain Corelli’s Mandolin | Sunday Observer

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernieres is set in the island of Cephallonia in Greece during the Second World War. The plot centres on the love story between the two main characters Pelagia and Antonio Corelli who is a captain in the Italian army that is occupying Cephallonia. The novel begins with a description of Pelagia’s father Dr. Iannis who raised her on his own after Pelagia’s mother died when she was a little girl. Pelagia is engaged to be married to Mandras but she realises that he is not compatible and that he is the wrong man for her and she breaks off the engagement. Pelagia and Corelli eventually fall in love and become engaged but are separated when Corelli flees to Italy.

De Bernieres explores the horrors of war in the novel and criticises Nazism, Communism and Fascism. The themes of music and love are intertwined as Corelli and Pelagia fall in love through the music which Corelli plays on his mandolin. Pelagia and Corelli are compatible and have a meaningful relationship that is formed on understanding and affection and is emotional as well as physical. The novel tells a beautiful love story about a man and woman who connect emotionally and whose love transcends the horrors of war.