Two Novels about War

4 April 2015
This paper introduces and discusses the themes, characters, and moral dilemmas of two novels, “Corelli’s Mandolin, by Louis de Bernieres, and If Not Now, When? by Primo Levi.

This paper compares these two novels and how the main characters are fighting wars they do not truly believe in. The paper shows how the authors present two narratives in which the protagonists are engaged in warfare, but are basically opposed to war. In exploring how these two men reconcile their beliefs with their activities, as well as how they maintain their connection to life, these authors each makes a profound statement concerning how humanity can exist within the framework of war.
Corelli’s Mandolin is a high-spirited roman that takes place on the Greek island of Cephallonia, with the majority of the action of the book occurring World War II. Captain Antonio Corelli commands an Italian garrison posted to the island. Corelli is a man of imagination, sensitivity, and above all, he loves to play his mandolin. Corelli is an unlikely soldier, as he cares more for appreciating life’s pleasures then about the Italian Fascist cult of death and hardness. For example, to one Nazi soldier’ greeting of Heil Hitler, Corelli responds Heil Puccini. ”
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