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The relationship between Pelagia and Dr. Iannis is the key relationship it is very sweet Discuss how de Bernieres presents this relationship and its significance in terms of wider themes in the novel.

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?The relationship between Pelagia and Dr. Iannis is the key relationship it is very sweet? Discuss how de Bernieres presents this relationship and its significance in terms of wider themes in the novel. In the very first chapter of the novel we are introduced to Iannis, this immediately alerts us of his importance as De Berniere's felt he needed to present him first, at the first mention of Pelagia we are made aware of their relationship and reliance upon each other, at this point specifically Iannis? reliance on her to purchase oil ?as long as Pelagia had remembered to purchase some more oil for the lamps.? At this point we are not made fully aware about who Pelagia is but we are given a detailed introduction to Iannis. We are made aware that Iannis is an educated man due to his use of vocabulary ?orifice?, ?recalcitrant?, and the presence of Stamatis and his wife tells us not everyone on the island is as educated as him as De Berniere's makes a point of having Stamatis? wife not understand Iannis ?The old woman nodded with every semblance of having understood, which she had not.? The second mention of Pelagia can be seen as ?sweet? Iannis is ...read more.


If we compare the relationship of Iannis and Pelagia to that of Penelope in Greek mythology with her father Icarius, we can see their relationship is far less tragic and more ?sweet?. Icarius loved Penelope so much that when it came time for her to leave after her wedding, he couldn?t bear to part with her. Iannis shows this same love ?The doctor squeezed her hand and said sadly, ?I don?t know how I?ll manage when you?ve gone.?? However De Berniere's shows him to be ambitious for Pelagia as well, ?He isn?t your equal.? At this point De Berniere's has established that Pelagia was raised by her father, her mother died when she was at a young age; this leaves the question of whether Pelagia felt deprived of motherly love. When betrothed to Mandras we see her interaction with Drosoula, Mandras? mother who is happy to accept Pelagia like a daughter and is proud of her intelligence, ?Kyria Drosoula looked at her admiringly.? possibly because she is not as educated herself. De Berniere's himself says Drosoula was ?exactly what Pelagia needed at that time.? And it is clear that for a period Pelagia was reliant on Drosoula ?Pelagia had found her way down to Kyria Drosoula?s ...read more.


would tickle me until I felt nearly sick with laughing, and then he?d sit me in a chair and comb my hair.? De Berniere's presents Pelagia?s lament as a summation of everything Iannis was, her father, her mother and her friend. And that shows their relationship to be very sweet. In conclusion, I agree that Iannis and Pelagia?s relationship is the key relationship in the novel because it represents more than one relationship; it is the relationship of a father to a daughter but also a relationship between friends. De Berniere's describes it as the key relationship possibly because it embodies his own ideals, their relationship is democratic and therefore conflicts fascism and it is also new and contrasts from Greek tradition. The extent to which their relationship can be classed as sweet is debatable, there are certain moments in the novel where their interaction is very sweet, particularly the introduction and end to the characters, we begin with Iannis admiring Pelagia but close with Pelagia admiring Iannis, however the journey their relationship takes has moments of discomfort and confrontation. Overall De Berniere's has made their relationship realistic and testing but when looked at as a whole it can be said that their relationship was sweet. ...read more.

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