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In Captain Corelli's Mandolin, Louis de Bernieres employs a variety of narrative techniques but most controversial is his use of history. Discuss

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Introduction

"In Captain Corelli's Mandolin", Louis de Bernieres employs a variety of narrative techniques but most controversial is his use of history. Discuss "Why could [Dr Iannis] not write without passion? Without anger? Without a sense of betrayal and oppression? ..... It was the title page: 'The New History of Cephallonia'. He crossed out the first two words and substituted 'A Personal'." Louis de Bernieres places Dr Iannis in the situation of having a problem writing about the history of Cephallonia without personal feeling. He indicates to the reader that history is impossible to write objectively and that he also would not be able to achieve this task. Captain Corelli's Mandolin is a novel and not a history textbook; however his use of narrative techniques has still caused disputes and comments amongst particular groups of people. The wide variety of narrative techniques that de Bernieres has chosen come together to create a hybrid form that portrays both his anti-war feeling and the miracles of humanity, from the story as a whole, and each individual character. de Bernieres' link to the greatness of humanity, love and miracles is done through constant comparison to ancient mythology, artistic use and music. ...read more.

Middle

It also signifies a change in society and the country by that time; Cephallonia had been changed forever. Magic realism also plays a large part in de Bernieres writing, particularly in reconciliation. "The fisherman who recovered the bloated body reported that when he had found it, there had been three dolphins taking it in turns to nudge it toward the shore" The use of magic realism in Mandras' case shows us that nature has reconciled with him, and he has gained forgiveness from it as he returns to the source of his existence. It is a technique used in many other literary novels such as Waterland by Graham Swift and A Rainbow by D.H Lawrence, making going to the sea to take ones life almost clich´┐Ż in English literature. Mandras and Carlo are both represented by de Bernieres in different ways. On our first encounter with both men they are innocent and optimistic and fighting for either side of a particularly horrific war. Both become worn down and dishevelled by their experience. Carlo's war experience matures him and with it he becomes wiser although sadder. Mandras however seems to revert to a state of childhood, and with juvenility he becomes reckless and greedy. ...read more.

Conclusion

He writes about it in such a way that it is easily comparable to the reconciliation of Mandras. Nature retaliates and regenerates, not only itself but destroyed many symbolic relics of the past, like the old olive tree on which Mandras used to swing. The upheaval of everyone who lived there forced them to start anew, putting the past to the back of their minds and out of sight. "...renewed their sense of life" De Bernieres was perhaps able to write a much more accurate portrayal of the earthquake than the war because it was actually the earthquake that changed peoples lives the most. He therefore had a much wider range of information available to him for this topic, as so much has been written about it. Although his use of history in this context has not caused any quarrels, his use of war history has and is causing a great deal of anger; even to the point of literary war as some anti-Corelli protesters say. It is undoubtedly the most controversial of the many techniques used by de Bernieres in Captain Corelli's Mandolin. However one can argue that it is perhaps also the most crucial in setting a scene on which to base an love story with an anti-war spin; after all it is a story and not a factual account. Matt Tindall ...read more.

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