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What do we learn from de Bernieres portrayal of the relationship between Carlo and Francesco?

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Introduction

What do we learn from de Bernieres portrayal of the relationship between Carlo and Francesco? The relationship between Carlo and Francesco is central to many of the key issues raised within "Captain Corelli's Mandolin". It runs until the dramatic death of Francesco in chapter 17 and during the relationship much is conveyed to the audience. The bond between Carlo and Franceso provides us with deep insights into the personalities of both characters and in the manner of portrayal we learn much about Carlo himself. Initially it is evident that through de Bernieres very portrayal of the relationship we learn much about Carlo's homosexuality and his needs that arise from it. The chapters detailing Carlo's accounts are titled "l'Omosessuale", which is very obvious in its meaning. The great evidentiality with which Carlo's homosexuality is portrayed is in itself fascinating as the audience is, unlike in many other novels, told explicitly of the characters orientation. This may show that from the very offset the focus is not upon his orientation itself, but its results upon him as a character and the resultant relationships that arise. ...read more.

Middle

It represents the fulfilment of his achieving reciprocal love, yet the extent to which he must run from his own sexuality increases. Indeed in his own account within the chapter he defends himself "against the charges of perversion and obscenity". Thus the question arises, is such "diluted love" healthy for Carlo? The evidence for and against this dilemma is presented within the portrayal of the relationship between Carlo and Francesco. The argument stating such love is conducive to Carlo living a better life is strong. One may say that both due to the strength of the bond between Carlo and Franceso both are arguably happier as they "loved each other more than brothers." This sense of family may create a much missed sense of familiarity to the soldiers who are far from home. Carlo himself states "I knew every inch of his body", whilst this may seem strange it also reiterates the need for stability and familiarity within every day life. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is highly ironic. The institutions mentioned can also be seen to tie closely with the theme of deception and self deception. Carlo himself as having "signed a convent of perpetual secrecy" and "someone who knows the truth" yet "is forbidden to utter it". In conclusion it is palpable that the portrayal of Carlo and Francesco's relationship removes the focus of audience from Carlo's homosexuality to the effects of it upon him as a character. These effects can be seen to have been dichotomised into those which are positive and those which are not. We learn that whilst the effects can be manipulated for through channelling his repression via the army, this is still detrimental to his own character. All the effects seem to tie in closely to deceit and self deceit and thus we learn this to be one of the main underlying themes of the relationship. This theme can also be seen to unite many other characters in the wider plot of the novel and hence its importance cannot be underestimated. ...read more.

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