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Carlo was fighting for Italy, while Mandras was in the Greek army. Both of the characters experienced a lot during the war. Nevertheless everything

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Introduction

Ioulia Samouilovskaia. 19.10.05. Mandras and Carlo fought on opposite sides. What does it say about the novels moral scheme, that the sufferings of ordinary people on both sides are recounted in detail? Consider these two characters but also other "moral" issues raised in the novel so far. Mandras and Carlo fought on opposite sides. Their experiences and feelings through out the war are recounted to the readers in a lot of details. And even though they were "enemies", their stories are very similar, as if the author is talking about the same man. This style of narration tells us something about the moral scheme of the novel. De Bernieres is trying to show the readers that there is no difference between human beings. That they all share similar feelings and have similar ideas about life. However similarity between people is not the only "moral" issue that is being raised, the author also raises the question about religion, education, sufferings and of course of love. In this essay I will primarily discuss the similarities between people, concentrating mostly on the two main characters: Carlo and Mandras. And then I will talk about the other "moral" issues raised in the novel so far. Carlo was fighting for Italy, while Mandras was in the Greek army. ...read more.

Middle

And his hands also had "the horrendous cross-tracking of hard white scars [...] there were no nails and no trace of cuticles." (p.154-155). At first Pelagia didn't even recognise that the man in front of her was Mandras, the man whom she loved before. From these descriptions of two characters, the readers realise that both of the fighting sides experienced exactly the same situations and that during the war there was no real difference between the soldiers, except for the countries that they were fighting for. The description of what they experienced is also very similar in both cases. The soldiers are turning mad due to all the suffering they see and feel. "It was as though a portion of my mind had disappeared, or as though my soul had diminished to a tiny point of grey light" (p. 134). The soldiers start to lose any human feelings; they no longer see the point of the happening. Both, Mandras and Carlo suffered a lot. "...Above the puttees the legs swell, and below the puttees the foot falls asleep. The legs turn lurid colours: shades of lilac, hints of purple, ebony black [...] I am exhausted, bewildered by the cries of agony [...] in the tents I hear the unearthly shrieks of amputation." ...read more.

Conclusion

As we can see with the start of the war, the people of the island became more religious and turned to God in order to find support. Nevertheless we are also provided with a different development in faith and religion. And that is the change that took place in the men's hearts, who were at war. Unlike the people who stayed at home, through out the war they lost their faith, and could no longer see any point in life. It is thought that religion cannot survive if a person doesn't have a soul, however the souls of soldiers "diminished to a tiny point of grey light". They no longer believed as they saw all the sufferings of the people, which in the end were useless. Instead of praying to God, they started praying to the people they loved, as they believed that unlike God their beloved ones wouldn't forget them. "I had you instead of the Virgin, I even prayed to you." (p.157). During the war, the soldiers completely lost their faith and hope. So as we can see the role of religion in people's lives is also an important "moral" issue that is raised in the novel. All of these factors tell us that there are several different moral schemes in the novel. And the development of each issue depends on the situation that the person is in, and not on the person himself, as in the end all the humans are very similar. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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