The sample essay on Captain Corelli’s Mandolin Book deals with a framework of research-based facts, approaches and arguments concerning this theme. To see the essay’s introduction, body paragraphs and conclusion, read on.
In “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin” by Louis de Bernieres and the “The Shell Seekers” by Rosamunde Pilcher there is a strong reference to the importance of a father in a woman’s life especially in difficult situations such as war. In these books the women’s lives are powerfully influenced by their fathers. “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin” by Louis de Bernieres is set during the Second World War in Cephallonia a small Greek island. It is the love story between Pelagia, the local doctor’s daughter and Captain Antonio Corelli, an Italian officer. The “The Shell Seekers” by Rosamunde Pilcher is about Penelope
Keeling, an artist’s daughter’s life experiences. She looks back on her life. A bohemian childhood in Cornwall, an unhappy wartime experience, a true love and a present family dilemma are the main features of the book. The views on the fathers are affected by the structure of the books. “The Shell Seekers” is in retrospective, the story is focused on Penelope. Lawrence Stern is described in the way that she remembers him to be, she is old and nostalgic therefore she only centres on the good things about her father (as it is the overall view she has got of him). On the other hand Bernieres tells the story as it happens.
Pelagia Captain Corelli’s Mandolin
The story is told from a wider point of view and it is more objective. This is why find out more of Dr. Iannis’ faults than Lawrence’s faults. This idea of faults makes it more realistic. We see that Iannis is really proud and does not like showing his feelings, he is very patriotic and sometimes this makes him unwelcoming towards foreigners. We see this when Corelli arrives at the house. Iannis makes his life very difficult just because he is an Italian. This is seen when Pelagia tells him: “Papakis, you made him feel like a flea. ” (Page 204)
It is Pelagia that notices his fault and tells him off for it. It shows us that Pelagia has to do the job of a wife in some aspects. She is the closest person to him and therefore has to make him realise his mistakes. This contrasts with Lawrence Stern because he has a wife and has therefore learnt what his errors are. Unlike Rosamunde Pilcher, Louis de Bernieres uses a mixture of comic and serious scenes. The comic scenes are mainly introduced by Antonio Corelli. Neither of the fathers is comic but occasionally we find humour in their speech or their description.
The characters of the athers are used to set the scene. They are serious men because it is wartime which is sad and cheerless so they give a feel of what the mood was around them at the time. They give realism to the books. In “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin” we first hear about Pelagia’s father Iannis in the first chapter while he is fulfilling his job as a doctor. The first impression we get of him is that he is a much respected man with a very busy life devoted to healing and helping other people. We hear about Lawrence Stern, Penelope’s father in chapter 6.
Like doctor Iannis he’s first introduced to the reader when e is at his working environment. However, he has stopped working due to serious arthritis, but he is still really keen on his job and likes going to his studio to enjoy the peacefulness and meditate about his life. He seems to have hope that one day he’ll be able to paint again. Pilcher says: “Lawrence Stern had not worked for more than ten years, but the tools of his trade were all about, as though, at any moment he might take them up and start to paint again. (Page 170) We become aware of the importance of art for him even though he can’t paint any longer. Both fathers are introduced to the reader in their working nvironment. Although their jobs are very different they are equally enthusiastic about their vocation. We perceive Dr. Iannis’ interest towards medicine when we read: “… and an ancient pea wrapped up in his handkerchief to be added to his private medical museum. ” (Page 4) The fact that he has got his own medical collection gives us an idea of his interest in medicine.
Their jobs are very important features in the books. In “The Shell Seekers” most of the story is based on one of the Lawrence Stern’s master pieces. It is a great influence in Penelope’s life. In chapter 7 Penelope says: … never sell my darling Shell Seekers, and I shall continue to get the utmost satisfaction and comfort from looking at it. It’s all I’ve got left of the old days, and being a child, and Cornwall and Porthkerris. ” (Page 225) It has a great effect in her life. It offers her a lot of comfort and support.
It is mentioned throughout the book and whenever it comes up we also learn about the effect of Lawrence Stern in her life. She does not have the same talent as her father in art but she is taught to appreciate everything around her in the same way as an artist does. In Captain Corelli’s Mandolin” the father’s job also has an influence on Pelagia’s life. She also wants to be a doctor and her father encourages her to accomplish her dream. When he is healing Captain Corelli he gives her confidence to help him.
They both have a very important role in the overall of the books. Dr. Iannis is very important in “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin” because he makes the love story between Antonio Corelli and Pelagia more challenging. When the reader tends to go to a dreamlike world where everything is perfect he makes the lovers notice the problems that hey have. The fact that there is a war going on around them and that they are supposed to be enemies and that she is engaged makes their love story more interesting to the reader.
In this case the father is the character that introduces the challenges and at the same time shows support to his daughter and provides her and the reader with some useful help and information. Dr Iannis says: “But you must remember that you are betrothed to Mandras…. Technically the captain is an enemy. Can you conceive the torment that would be inflicted upon you by others when they judge hat you have renounced the love of a patriotic Greek, in favour of an invader, an oppressor? You will be called a collaborator, a Fascist’s whore, and a thousand things besides. (Page 344) Penelope’s father does the opposite.
When we come to the conclusion that there is no hope and everything seems tragic, he makes everything not be as bad as it seems. This is possible because of the good relationship he has with his daughter. A good example of this is when she falls in love with Richard Lomax, the American soldier, but finds herself in a love crisis due to her misguided marriage. Her father ases the situation by making her realise that her happiness is more important than what people think and she shouldn’t ignore her feelings towards Richard Lomax.
When Penelope is hesitating between going out with Richard or not because she is sacred of getting involved her father tells her not to worry because it does not matter what happens as soon as she is happy with her decision. She says: “I really like you…. mostly because we’ve always been able to talk. ” (Page 432) Their age and experience gives their daughters a lot of confidence to believe that they are doing the right thing when they follow their ather’s advice. Both fathers have a link with their daughters’ lover that gets involved in their relationship at some point.
Penelope meets Richard Lomax through his and her father’s interest in art. From the first time we are introduced to him we know that he has a lot in common with her father and this attracts her to him. In “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin” the relationship between Antonio and Pelagia is also affected by Dr. Iannis. He is unwelcoming and cold to him when he arrives at the island because he is an Italian, therefore an enemy. Pelagia follows her father’s example and that leads them to their ove-hate relationship.
This is a good example of an instant when Pelagia tries to imitate her father: “Pelagia could not resist essaying her father’s mode of resistance… ” (Page 207) Penelope’s and Pelagia’s characters have been mostly established by their fathers. Although Penelope grew with a mother, her mother was more like a sister to her due to her young age. This means that her father has the greatest influence on her life. Pelagia and Penelope are only children and they have been brought up to accomplish the role of a son as well as the one of a daughter. For that reason they are oth quite wild and ahead of their time.
As well as Lawrence Stern, Dr. Iannis dies during the book. We realise after their death the importance for their daughters. The Shell Seekers is left as the clearest memory of Lawrence Stern to her daughter that is why it has so much personal value for her. This is how Penelope describes it: “The Shell Seekers, as well as being my most treasured possession, was also my comfort and solace. I couldn’t live without it”(Page 363) When Pelagia’s “daughter” had a child, she started calling him Iannis. It says: “”… began to refer to it as Iannis.
She referred to it so often with that name that it soon seemed obvious to the parents that it could not be Kyriakos or Vassos or Stratis or Dionisios. If you called it Iannis, it smiled and blew slimy bubbles that burst and trickled down its chin, and so Iannis it was. ” (Page 496) From this passage we see that even though he died long ago she keeps him in her mind all the time. That is why she refers to her grandson as Iannis even before that name was decided it seems natural to her that he is called Iannis. Even if his parents decided to call him something else to her it would have always been Iannis.
It is a way of thanking her father for everything he had done for her; it is a way of bringing him back to life. I think both fathers have a very important role. They are important in the lives of the main characters, Pelagia and Penelope and affect their characters and their way of life even after their death. Although Lawrence Stern and Dr Iannis are very different characters, they both bring up their daughters in the same way and expect the same from them. They want their daughters to think for themselves, make their own decisions and chose what they want to do with their lives.