Triumph of Good in Captain Corelli's Mandolin
Despite a backdrop of war, many characters in "Captain Corelli's Mandolin" are essentially good. This goodness in many characters overcomes the difficulties within relationships and the difficulties posed by war. De Bernières shows the triumphant nature of this goodness through his characters as they interact and develop relationships with one another. The island of Cephallonia has been able to survive through a history full of invasions. Its population has triumphed and shows itself to be basically good. Although at one point they ridicule Father Arsenios when Velisarios humiliates him by lifting him up, there is no malice in their actions. They come to the church to leave "tokens of apology" for Father Arsenios and their goodwill to one another continues throughout the course of the novel.
Despite the prejudice of society not allowing Carlo Guercio to live as freely as a homosexual as he would wish, his goodness triumphs as he is able to care for those he loves. When his love, Francesco, dies, Guercio's kind and loving nature comes through as he buries him with his mouse and goes to his mother to tell her of her son's death. He is kind enough to spare her from the truth about the brutality of her son's death, saying that "he died with a smile on his lips". Despite losing his loved one, Guercio's strong character and goodness allow him to go on and love again. This time the object of his affection is Captain Corelli, for whom he eventually sacrifices his life.
Captain Corelli's goodness is evident from his first appearance despite the fact that he is a captain of the occupying force. As he marches his troops through the streets of Cephallonia, he breaks the tension by shouting "Bella bambina at nine o'clock. E-y-e-s left" on seeing Pelagia. Corelli is basically good to whoever he comes into contact with. Close to Pelagia's heart, he is kind towards Psipsina and Lemoni. If Psipsina sat on a piece of the captain's music, "he would go away and fetch another sheet rather than disturb her." Not only is this an example of Corelli's basic kind nature, but also of his ability to become part of the family in Cephallonia and relax into the Greek lifestyle.
Corelli is also able to relate to all ages as he demonstrates through his kindness towards Lemoni. He plays with the child and is untiring in his attentions as she drags him out to see any piece of rusty metal that might be another Turkish mine. Despite being a captain of the enemy he is concerned for all the children of the island.
The captain's only apparently vicious actions and reprimands occur towards the soldiers. He explains that this...