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Please help improve it by removing unnecessary details and making it more concise. June Learn how and when to remove this template message The story begins with Dr. Iannis, a multilingual doctor with an established practice on the Greek island of Cephalonia. Pelagia, now a young woman, is headstrong and intelligent, and has learned about medicine by observing her father. Pelagia meets a young fisherman named Mandras, and they become engaged.

War has been declared, and Mandras decides to go fight at the front. Meanwhile, Carlo Guercio fights among the Italian forces that invade Albania , and sees his beloved friend, who he is in love with, Francesco, shot by the Greek army during the Greco-Italian War. In , Italian and German soldiers are posted to Cephalonia, where they are ostracized by the locals. Pelagia is determined to hate them, especially when a jovial young captain by the name of Antonio Corelli is domiciled with her.

Mandras comes home from the war, injured and filthy, and as Pelagia nurses him she realizes she no longer loves him. After Mussolini loses power, Italy joins forces with the Allies. The Italians who occupy Greece thus are freed from their duties. After defeating the Italian division, the German soldiers on Cephalonia turn on them, and order a massive execution. Corelli has to stay hidden from the Germans, whose orders are to kill any surviving Italians.

As soon as he is well enough, Corelli escapes to Italy, promising Pelagia that he will return as soon as the war ends and then they will be married. Corelli leaves Antonia, his mandolin, with Pelagia for safekeeping. The Germans become brutal, and Dr Iannis is sent to a camp.

Mandras returns, indoctrinated with Communist ideologies and having learned to read. Ashamed, he later commits suicide. Dr Iannis comes home, traumatised. Life goes on in Cephalonia, though interrupted by the Ionian earthquake , in which Iannis dies. Corelli does not return, though Pelagia is convinced she sees his ghost. The baby girl, whom Pelagia has named Antonia, grows up and marries. Many years later, an old man visits Pelagia. It is Antonio Corelli, now a famous mandolin player.

He explains that he did not visit before because, having seen her with baby Antonia on her doorstep and believing her to be married, he was bitter. The novel ends on a happy note. We see the initial lust-based love between Pelagia and Mandras, which burns out as a result of the war, and the change it prompts in both of them. Love is described by Dr Iannis as "what is left when the passion has gone", and it certainly appears that this criterion is fulfilled by the love of Corelli and Pelagia.

The paternal love of Iannis for Pelagia is also strong and is heavily compared with that of Corelli.

The theme of music is predominant, offering a direct contrast to the horror and destruction that the war brings and showing how something beautiful can arise from something horrible. The war is described in graphic detail, particularly the death of Francesco.

It is responsible for the fall of Mandras and Weber, the deaths of Carlo and Francesco, and the separation of Pelagia and Corelli. Dr Iannis spends much of his spare time attempting to write a history of Cephalonia, but he often finds his personal feelings and biasses running through whatever he writes. Despite having become friends with many of the men, Weber must follow orders. Similarly, Mandras is guilty of murder, torture, and rape, yet the author portrays him sympathetically: "just another life tarnished It reads: Meine Ruh ist hin,.


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