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Character analysis of Mandras.

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Character analysis of Mandras The presentation of Mandras in the novel is one which is subject to change and alteration. The implications of his change in character relate to the wider issue of war and its effects on both individuals and society. Mandras is used as an example of the negative and grave psychological scars war can inflict. When Mandras first appears in the novel, he is presented as a potential love interest for Pelagia. However, there is an uneasy sense of foreboding as to what is to come for their relationship. The fact that their love for each other develops so early on in the book, and the idealistic nature of this love leaves the reader with the impression that it is not to last. In the very chapter they meet the chapter ends with the ominous presence of war looming, which reaffirms the reader's belief that their relationship will be brief. Mandra's first act in the story is being shot by Velisarios with rather comical consequences thus establishing Mandras as a comical character. He later thanked Velisarios for shooting him as it had a positive impact on his life; meeting Pelagia. "What he thanked him for was that he first set eyes on Pelagia". This shows the instantaneous nature of his love for Pelagia. Some readers have suggested that the fact their love was based only on mutual aesthetic attraction to each other was the very reason it al fell apart at the end. ...read more.


Madras' desire for recognition, acceptance and worthiness is emphasised here. He is well aware that "when it comes to women all men are fools" and so his dream to go to war with such an idealistic vision of the consequences is not surprising. The devastating effect of war on Mandras is shown by the contrasting descriptions of him, provided by Pelagia in chapters 13 and 20. In chapter 13 Pelagia watches Mandras fishing out at sear. She admires "a man naked and wild, a man like Adam". Unlike 'the wild man of the ice' this man is comparable with a Greek God. "Mandras was too young to be Poseidon, too much without malice. Was he a male sea-nymph then?". She is so transfixed by his beauty and so infatuated with him she feels that there should "be a sacrifice of honey, oil, milk, or a goat". She creates an anthropomorphic version of Mandras which the real one cannot live up to. Pelagia refuses to believe that the real Mandras is different to her ideal view of him. This is shown when she notices his shoulders have peeled raw and "she was surprised, even disappointed, for it revealed that the lovely boy was made only of flesh and not of imperishable gold". We are not provided with a vivid picture of Mandras' experiences of war but the 'L'Omosessuale' chapters highlight the harsh brutalities of war he must have encountered. ...read more.


He feels detached from society and the real world. His horrific experiences have separated him from those he loves dearest: "Everything has become a dream. There is a veil between me and them". Mandras has become a shadow of his former self. His response to war has altered his view on life. Death is personified as a sweet release from the harsh pain and suffering of war. "Death is not an enemy but a brother". Mandras has also reconsidered his love for Pelagia when his ideal of her character was false: "Unfortunately my dream of Pelagia was better then Pelagia herself". However he desperately tries to grasp his dream of Pelaiga by doing "things so great that even a queen would beg to be my bride". He still desires glory and Pelagia's love and refuses to accept his futile attempt to gain her acceptance by going to war. He has obviously not learnt his lesson. As his anger festered his silent resentment for Pelagia began to grow especially upon hearing of her relationship with Corelli. He experienced a psychological breakdown as he desperately tried to make Pelagia love him by attempting to rape her. His subsequent realisation of what he had tried to do caused him to despise himself. All of his hopes and dreams had been shattered. He was man with no future or destiny and he believed death was the only fate he deserved. ...read more.

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