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Corelli claims that a man can be described as a "sheep" or a "lion". How successful is Louis de Bernires in portraying different versions of manhood against the backdrop of war in Caption Corelli's Mandolin?

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Introduction

Corelli claims that a man can be described as a "sheep" or a "lion". How successful is Louis de Berni�res in portraying different versions of manhood against the backdrop of war in Caption Corelli's Mandolin? In the novel "Captain Corelli's Mandolin" De Berni�res presents us with many different versions of manhood. Through the characters in the novel De Berni�res is able to portray different versions of manhood and what qualities he believes to make a strong character in times of war. The character Corelli claims that a man can be described as a "sheep" or a "lion". This is a very stereotypical viewpoint and the author is commenting that it is not just strength and power that make a man but other qualities such as Morality and compassion within a character. De Berni�res is able to explore this viewpoint and expresses to the reader different versions of manhood in the backdrop of war. The Character G�nter is a Nazi which De Berni�res clearly condemns throughout the novel. The novel is a dedication to his father who fought the Nazi's in the Second World War. As the reader we are able to observe the character Gunter and see that De Berni�res clearly dislikes the Nazi ideologies. He clearly admires characters such as Corelli as he believes a soldier should act on his morals rather than take orders if the soldier does not believe in them. From the poem entitled "The soldier", found at the beginning of the novel, the reader has an indication that it will be a main theme throughout the novel. G�nter does have some potential for some positive action. The chapters entitled "The Good Nazi" are reoccurring within the novel, some would argue that De Berni�res is commenting that the character Gunter is good at being a Nazi. The character will always carry out his orders believing that it is more important to be a Nazi "He was destined to betray you with a Judas Kiss". ...read more.

Middle

Because of this form and the use of first person the reader is able to read about the views of the different characters portrayed in the novel. De Berni�res successfully portrays Carlos as a version of manhood with both Physical and moral strength. Carlos has companionship with his fellow soldiers and is willing to take his own life for someone he truly cares for. By acting in the war Carlos is able to act in this way and show his morals as a character. In the backdrop of war we are able to see the morals that he has and he was able to show his companions that he was willing to risk his own life for a fellow companion. De Berni�res is able to show a different version of manhood through the character of Mandras. Mandras is a character in the novel that has been corrupted by the war and by communism. Arguably when Mandras returns from war he has changed from a kind and loving man to a man who is disrespectful towards his family and Pelagia. At the beginning of the novel Mandras is portrayed as a kind and loving man with emotional strength and sensitivity towards Pelagia "God knows I love her". The character describes him as "God like" showing him to be her saviour and a character that she deeply respects. He is deeply in love with Pelagia. But after his return Pelagia does not recognise him not only physically but mentally. "There was a stranger sitting at my kitchen table." This represents a different man and therefore a different type of manhood is being represented. Within the Character of Mandras De Berni�res is commenting on how war can change a man and make him become a different person because of the people and the problems that soldiers encounter in times of war. Mandras' character was a kind and loving man but he has been corrupted by communism and politics throughout the war. ...read more.

Conclusion

But this is simply a metaphor showing that "he let his rifles rust" showing to the reader his compassion and civilised nature that Corelli has. Again De Berni�res is commenting on his ideal version of manhood. Another aspect of Corelli's personality is humanity towards both animals and Children. His enjoyment of Psipsina and playfulness with Lemoni, and the affection he earns from both of them, are early indications of his tolerance and his good nature. His creativity as a composer and the pleasure he provides as a musician to his fellow soldiers in the "opera Club" shows a contrast with the atrocities of war and the great leader that Corelli is. He is much show as a peace maker throughout the war which shows a different version of manhood compared to any other character in the novel "Corelli broke by handing him a bottle of red wine. 'Drink', he said." This shows that Corelli simply values the simple pleasures in life and does not like to worry about political problems and the problems with war. In conclusion De Berni�res presents the reader with many different versions of manhood within the novel "Captain Correlli's Mandolin". From exploring the idea that a man can either be a "sheep" or a "lion", I can see that this is a very stereotypical viewpoint. De Berni�res is commenting on what qualities he believes to make a man in times of war. Through characters such as Carlos and Corelli the reader is able to make an observation that De Berni�res believes that morality is a quality that he highly respects in a man. We can see through events in the novel such as the Italian execution that a man should always act on their morals whatever the risk. Gunter is not portrayed favourably in the novel as he does not act on his morals and takes the selfish route of saving his own life .I believe that De Berni�res is very successful in portraying different versions of manhood throughout the novel but he is also commenting on his thoughts about manhood and what makes a man. ...read more.

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