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Triumph of Good in Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

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…

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…elagia lives to the end of the novel, surviving the war and an earthquake . During the wartime, she and her father socialise with Italian and German soldiers. She uses her medical knowledge to help Mandras and the captain. Pelagia seems to have time for anything and has passionate feelings. She cares deeply for Lemoni and her pets too.

The triumphant goodness of human life is evident in many character’s lives as they overcome obstacles through their own determination and goodwill. Characters such as Carlo Guercio live not only for themselves, but to comfort others too as he ensures that he tells Francesco’s mother that her son died peacefully. The generosity of many characters transcends timeframes as well as age barriers meaning that they help people through their lifetime meaning that more people than just themselves are able to achieve their aims in life.

Free YGB Essays: Theme of Hypocrisy in Hawthorne’s Young Goodman Brown Young Goodman Brown essays

The Theme of Hypocrisy in “Young Goodman Brown” In “Young Goodman Brown” the theme is hypocrisy. Hawthorne writes in detail how hypocrisy can change a person for the worse. In the opening pages of the story you can see how hypocrisy is already starting to change Goodman Brown for the worse. As he starts out on his errand that he has to run, Goodman Brown decides to walk as Hawthorne puts it “A dreary road darkened by all the gloomiest trees of the forest, which barely stood aside to let the narrow path creep through, and closed immediately behind.” (141). The forest is an important symbol in this story. The forest symbolizes evil and it symbolizes evil because of the darkness of the forest. As Goodman Brown and his companion continue their journey through the dark forest Goodman Brown starts to realize this “errand” that he is running is no ordinary one. Goodman Brown knows that he is doing something scorned down on by Puritan beliefs as he says the following: “My father ever went into the woods on such an errand, nor his father before him. We have been have been a race of honest men and good Christians since the days of the martyrs. And shall I be the first of the name of Brown that has ever took this path and kept.” (141). So basically what he is saying in that quote is that he knows what he is doing is wrong, but he doesn’t care. Goodman Brown is hard to convince that his family and the Puritans in general are not as righteous and pure as he thinks they are. The companion tries endlessly to convince Goodman Brown that his own family is not as “pure” as it seems. The traveler tells Goodman some stories of his own family doing dirty things such as setting fire to an Indian Village and lashing a Quaker woman. However Goodman does still not believe any of what the traveler is saying. Continuing on the path Brown and his companion stumble upon Deacon Gookin and his Goody Cloyse and Goodman is astonished by this because he would have never thought that the good wife would be so far in the forest that late at night. By seeing the good wife in the forest at that time of night makes Goodman not want to go on. While sitting on a stump, Goodman yells out “Friend, my mind is made up. Not another step wills I budge on this errand. What if a wretched old woman choose to go to the devil when I thought she was going to Heaven! Is that any reason why I should quit my dear Faith and go after her?” (143) Basically he is quitting what the errand because he senses that what the companion has told him is to eat at him. In other words the hypocrisy is starting to enter his soul and he is trying to keep it from doing that by stopping the journey. Another example of what Hawthorne is saying about hypocrisy in the story is the part where Goodman hears what the Deacon says as he passes by in the carriage. Goodman is astonished by the words he hears coming from the carriage. Also Brown is amazed that the Deacon would have traveled that far into the dark and dreary forest. As Hawthorne puts it “Young Goodman Brown caught hold of a tree, for support, being ready to sink to the ground, faint and over-burthened with the heavy sickness of his heart. He looked up to the sky doubting whether there really was a Heaven above him.” (144) Basically Goodman cannot believe what he just heard from the leaders of the Religion of the puritans; he is amazed that impurity lies within the most religious people of the Puritans. It makes him believe what the companion told him about pureness. Seeing all of this makes him say that if no one else wants to stand true to the beliefs of the puritans, not even the Deacon himself, then he was going to be the one who does. Moreover witnessing all of that Goodman finally understands that purity is no longer what all mankind strives for. As Brown stands their he looks up to see what was once a blue sky has suddenly turned gray. This Gray sky symbolizes the impurity or hypocrisy that has taken over the earth. Goodman also hears sounds from the cloud, which also represent deceit and wickedness. Goodman is really bothered by this and he says, “My Faith is gone there is no good on earth, and sin is but a name. Come Devil! for to thee the world given.” (145). All Goodman is saying is that the devil can come and take over the world because it is full of sin and wickedness. In the same way as the others who have given into hypocrisy Goodman himself now gives into the hypocrisy. Hawthorne writes, “In truth all through the haunted forest there could be nothing more frightening than the figure of Goodman Brown.” This is Hawthorn’s cunning way of saying that Goodman he turned for the worse Brown has now at this point done a complete 360 of his usual pure ways and runs around the forest making obscene gestures and terrible remarks. Hypocrisy has swamped Goodman’s soul to the point where he has a dream that these couples gets converted from Christians to Devil Worshipers and are encouraged to not to look to God but look to the Devil for Guidance and follow the ways of the devil. Hawthorne writes a line to show my point, “Faith! Faith! look up to Heaven, and resist the Wicked One!” So in other words don’t look to god is what Hawthorne is saying. In conclusion “Young Goodman Brown” is a story about hypocrisy and how it came corrupt the purest of peoples minds if they choose to let it in. This story also shows that even though puritans all may act “pure” on the outside, they aren’t really as pure as everybody makes them out to be.

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