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Sacrifice and Love in Captain Corelli's Mandolin.

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Introduction

Sacrifice and Love in Captain Corelli's Mandolin Sacrifice may be considered as the act of offering something to a deity in propitiation or homage; especially the ritual slaughter of an animal or person. This is certainly true in Captain Corelli's Mandolin. Almost every person in the novel makes some sort of sacrifice which is triggered by the love for their country; their loved ones or for survival and dignity. The largest sacrifice in this novel would have to be the sacrifice that the soldiers make for their country. Whether it be the men in the Julia Division, Bari Division, Acqui Division, the Greeks or Bunnios; they are all risking their lives for their country. By being a patriotic and serving their country, they are expected to make the sacrifice of their lives. The entire Acqui Division is a good example of how men are forced to die for their country. Like Mandras, they are a mere statistic of the ritual slaughtering of war. Their deaths are inevitabilities of this tragedy. Whilst the men of the Acqui Division are being sent to their death there is a strong sense of acceptance as they pray with their heads bowed down to their knees. ...read more.

Middle

Father Arsenios, like Captain Corelli and the Acqui Division and even the ELAS and EKAS are all sacrificing their lives for what they believe in. Although each man may be sacrificing for different ideals; they are still giving up the people they love and the things they love for those morals. Whilst not all sacrifices are for the better, some sacrifices in this novel are made for the very right of survival that so many men have been deprived of. G´┐Żnter Weber and Mandras fall under this category. Although both men are in the army and are risking their lives for their country, they have joined the army, like everyone else with the hope that they will not have to make that sacrifice. Weber for example has relinquished his friendship with the Italians as well as his honour in order to survive. Weber seemed to have recognized his fate that he would be the one ordered to kill his friends and unlike many of the Italian soldiers, Weber chose between following his orders or sacrificing his friendship and integrity. Weber chooses to forget his friends and live the rest of his life with guilt. ...read more.

Conclusion

than to fight for his country and when he finally does get to die a proper soldier's death and for someone he loves, he is "glad to die at last". However by joining the army he is also sacrificing the physical union in order to retain comradeship with the other men. Pelagia makes an unconscious sacrifice for the man she loves. By allowing him to escape Cephallonia she is not only taking a chance that she will not get caught but also unknowingly sacrificing their love. However although her sacrifice at the time was instinctive, waiting thirty years for Corelli was not. Pelagia deliberately waits for Corelli, despite no certainty of his return and literally watches her youth and beauty slip through her fingers. By the end of the novel, she has transformed from a woman of beauty and youth to an embittered, senile old lady. Whilst waiting for Corelli, Pelagia also adopts Antonia, thereby limiting her choices and giving up the chance to 'live'. Almost every person in this novel sacrifices a part of their lives, whether it may be for someone they love or for themselves. This theme of De Bernieres' ties the novel and its characters together; they all feel the pain of losing dignity, happiness, loved ones and their lives. ...read more.

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