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Discuss the depiction of war in Captain Corelli’s Mandolin.

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Essay: Captain Corelli's Mandolin Discuss the depiction of war in Captain Corelli's Mandolin. Undoubtedly, the central theme of "Captain Corelli's Mandolin" is war. This is clear even when reading the title of the novel for the first time, as the word "Captain" suggests that military subjects, if not war itself, are predominant in the story. Even before the novel starts we are presented with an extremely melancholic and gloomy poem about war, "The Soldier", by Humbert Wolfe, now confirming our idea that the novel treats war as a main theme and additionally setting the tone (essentially melancholic) in which this theme will be presented. After reading the novel we realise that all of the events that occurred in the story are, in some way or another, originated because of the war, this is to say, the war is the engine that drives the series of actions that we encounter. It is important then to understand the significance of war's depiction in the novel, as, by understanding the instigator of the occurrences which Louis de Berni�res portrays, we can comprehend his intention and hence extract the essence of his work. As war is the cause of the incidents in the book, we have to look at its origins in order to understand its implications in context with them. Under this trend we arrive at the conclusion that the originators of war are the governments of the countries in conflict, and, as we are dealing with single-party states, their totalitarian leader. ...read more.


In this way he confuses a parachutist with an angel and thinks of the battle between Germans and Italians as a change in date of St. Gerasimos festival. This innocence we can perceive, together with the fact that he lives higher up that the rest of people, suggests some sort of divine nature again with Alekos, (it is also interesting to say that in the first chapter in Dr. Iannis' writing we get a reference that there was a temple to god Zeus, the god of gods, in the summit of Mt. Aenos) however, because we now so little of Alekos characteristics he seems less human. His childish views of what happens hide some kind of wisdom, as his innocent reflections of the events put the reader in a position outside the conflict, higher up on Mt. Aenos, and make him reflect upon the reason, the point, of this war. This is accomplished by De Berni�res because of the fact that innocence is a characteristic of children, and it is the world of adults that is in conflict, so in a way, in order to leave greed (completely absent in Alekos as he is happy with his routinary way of life) and war behind we have to learn from children and in this case from Alekos to look at the world in innocence. A contrast arises when we see the war from this elevated level and compare it with the very graphical and gory descriptions we get of certain deaths in the story. ...read more.


In this passage, the idea that war is being controlled by some kind of superior being is reinforced, as Arsenios' reaction is to God's unwillingness to stop the war. However, God's order, in the plane on which Arsenions sees it as compared with military orders, is that Cephallonia remains under oppression. Again the idea of impotence against orders is brought about, as his death, even though he was struggling with all his strength against the invasors, confirms. In conclusion, war is depicted dually in the text in order to show the two perspectives we can have. From the elevated point of view, war is seen as futile and senseless, putting in risk the lives of millions of brave men and innocent people, in essence, just for the sake of doing it. However, the consequences of this are brought about very clearly in the text by showing death in a crude and violent way, emphasising human fragility together with the impotence an individual has, and the insignificance it is for an entire system. War here acts as the catalyst of those with power to change someone's fate and therefore the essence of its role is to show the injustice present in the random nature of human future, here presented as the determined decisions of totalitarian governments, hence showing a major but inevitable flaw in our system of equality and freedom. Roberto Thais ...read more.

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