• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How much do you agree that the plot of Captain Correlis Mandolin relates to Romanticism in a Postmodernist society?

Extracts from this document...


* How much do you agree that the plot relates to Romanticism in a Postmodernist society? The plot of Captain Correli's Mandolin interweaves two strands: the personal stories of a small number of members of an unnamed Cephollonian village, centring on Dr Iannis and his daughter Pelegia; and the public, historical story of the defeat by the Germans. It is the interplay between the two worlds which give the novel its peculiar captivating power and romantically moving qualities by depicting the struggle of war from the view of both strong political leaders, such as Mussolini, and the local Cephollonians. The plot relates to romanticism in a postmodernist society through telling the story of the small individuals (focusing on the romance between Pelegia and Corelli) involved in a large scale world war. De Bernieres said himself: 'I like to tackle classical themes in literature'. This can be seen in the multiplicity of genres in the novel (for instance love, war, comedy and tragedy) which can be defined as the two fundamental features of classical literature; Postmodernism and Romanticism. The plot of Captain Corelli's Mandolin focuses on the tragic love story between Pelegia and Corelli, who want to be together and yet are separated by the war. The story of lovers tragically separated by circumstances is a familiar one but, as in this case the remote setting and the skill of the novelist, to tell personal stories of the islanders and the plot of the historical war, make it seem fresh. ...read more.


Carlo is buried among the roots of the olive tree 'in the soil of Odysseus' time', and olive wood is used for the funeral pyres of the massacred Italians, just as it was in The Odyssey for the Greek heroes of the Trojan War. It is also, more generally, associated with continuity between past and present, joy, the pastoral idyll, nature as a provider, and Christianity (Arsenios' cross). It is the 'entwined roots' of the olive tree to which Dr Iannis refers as a metaphor for enduring love. Music has always been used to represent emotions and personally I associate the art of music with romance because love is often used as a topic in the work of many musicians. Corelli uses his musical skills on the mandolin to show his true feelings towards Pelegia. In chapter twenty-seven we see how music brings the two destined lovers together. When Pelegia first hears Corelli play the mandolin she has an epiphany as she realises that music is 'an emotional and intellectual odyssey'. This clich�d romantic interlude is undermined by the doctor turning it into a comedy. The mandolin is a good example of romanticism within the novel as it is a metaphor for peace and harmony, and the life-enhancing opposite of a gun ('armed only with his mandolin'). It also represents the music as the highest pursuit of civilisation, and one which transcends cultural and national differences because it is a universal language. ...read more.


In conclusion it is quite clear that Captain Corelli's Mandolin relates to Romanticism in a Postmodernist society. The novel features both romanticism and postmodernism in the form of a love story set against the background of war. These two literary features fully evoke the readers' response and there is something for everyone. It can be said that the novel is more history than story, but history is needed to tell the full story and show the horrors of war on both the big and the little man. Even the epigraph of the novel tells us that it is a romantic postmodernist text. It is a poem by Humbert Wolfe called 'The Soldier' which tells the story of 'young' soldiers 'tall and slim' who died in the war and were forgotten. It says 'they smile in the face of death.....and were robbed of their quiet paradise', here the poet is describing how brave the soldiers were and that they died young in war, again this can be placed under the romantic genre. Therefore love becomes more vulnerable and precious against a background of hostilities, and war becomes more threatening and poignant when a relationship is at stake. War is political, love is personal, but there universal and perpetual human experiences can become confused or intertwined, and are two sides of the same coin, for instance, 'Pelegia's March' unites the martial and the lyrical. Love and war evoke emotions in the characters, including disappointment, enmity, revenge, joy, triumph, pathos and heartbreak. Both are beyond the normal rules of justice: all's fair in love and war. ?? ?? ?? ?? Amy Dunne ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level War Poetry section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level War Poetry essays

  1. The two novels I am going to compare are 'Captain Corelli's Mandolin' by Louis ...

    stream of consciousness split with Pelagia's views and Mandras's views on their relationship. Pelagia's views are mainly of erotic love, "When he kisses me I want to reach round him and take a buttock in each hand." There is no passion or romance, but mainly physical attraction.

  2. How is the character Carlo portrayed by Louis de Bernières in Captain Corelli's Mandolin?

    But in such an "act of love so incomprehensible and ineffable" de Berni�res shows that his was not a wasted life. In saving Corelli's life at the time of death he showed complete selflessness. His soul priority was saving Corelli, the man on whom he had poured his love.

  1. How similar are the experiences and attitudes of Captain Corelli and Mandras? - Using ...

    On the contrary, Mandras exposes how he trusts in himself, in his belief that, "No man is a man until he has been a soldier.

  2. Dr Iannis tells his daughter, " Technically the captain is an enemy," Explore de ...

    receive, " Torment that would be inflicted upon you by others when they judge that they have renounced the love of a patriotic Greek, in favour or an oppressor? You will be called a collaborator, a Fascist whore.. People will throw stones at you and spit."

  1. Corelli claims that a man can be described as a "sheep" or a "lion". ...

    he cannot do it as it goes against the little morals that he has, but instead he saves his own life as he knows that he will get executed if he does not kill the Italians. This is a good comparison to Corelli and Carlos as we know from other

  2. Character analysis of Mandras.

    Mandras is described as a "horrible and wild stranger" and a "gibbering apparition". Pelagia is horrified when she realises this stranger is Mandras and is appalled by the fact he cannot write. He idealistic and romantic perception of Mandras is destroyed and her lust for him dies.

  1. Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Carlo asserts "War is a wonderful thing, in movies and ...

    as though my soul had diminished to a tiny point of grey light"(p.138). De Bernieres also shows the gore and bloodshed caused by the war, when he describes the death of Francesco. In chapter 19, L'Omosessuale (6), De Bernieres uses Carlo's narrative to tell the reader the true details of Francesco's death, and then the sanitised version for his mother.

  2. Sacrifice and Love in Captain Corelli's Mandolin.

    They had no choice but to follow orders despite it being against their wish and were only allowed to ask "operational questions, not questions of policy". They were expected to sacrifice their lives for their country: "we were supposed to be killed.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work