Suffering and Beauty in Captain Corelli's Mandolin

Suffering is painful, while beauty can also be painful, they are both necessary for building character, and they are both necessary to be able to enjoy life, and to see the beauty in it. "I had many regrets in my life, and I supposed that everyone else can say the same. But it is not as if I regret little things, childish things, things like arguing with my father or flirting with a woman who was not my wife. What I regret is having to learn a most bitter lesson about the way in which personal ambitions can lead a man against his will." (Pg. de Bernieres) The two themes of suffering and beauty are explored in the book Captain Corelli's Mandolin. The author Louis de Bernieres demonstrates that one isn't able to fully enjoy the beauty of life, without first experiencing suffering. The character's experience beauty and suffering through the effects of love in times of war.
Suffering is a central idea throughout the novel, and all the main characters endure it at one time or another. As a result of war, the people of Cephalonia are forced into suffering through change. Firstly, the island is used as a command post, and the lives of the people are changed completely. Along with that, the people are forced to watch their sons march off to war with the knowledge that only a very small portion of them will be returning. "The only good thing about it is that only the beautiful women find husbands amongst those men that are left, and so the pressure of natural selection has ensured that we have the most beautiful women in all of Greece, and perhaps in the whole region of the Mediterranean." (Pg.5, de Bernieres) Doctor Iannis said this and it is an example of how the characters are put through suffering because of change, having to watch their sons march off to war, never to return. The island has also experienced suffering throughout the characters on the island, all of the drastic changes have made mental suffering very real, with the scary thought hovering above their head that a war is going on all around them. "After the war I'll love you, after the war, I'll love you, I'll love you forever, after the war." (Pg. de Bernieres) This demonstrates how the Cephalonian's suffer because lives are changed and now everything revolves around the war.
The love between Pelagia and Mandras is messy and unfortunate, it causes suffering for the both of them. Originally it appeared that they were experiencing love at first sight but it eventually becomes evident that their original "love", was just lust which ended up hurting them both. "Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides. And when it subsides, you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being "in love" which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Those that truly love have roots that grow towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossoms have fallen from their branches, they find that they are one tree, and not two." (Pg. de Bernieres) This is the love story of Mandras and Pelagia, they didn't have real enough love so their roots were not entwined, and that showed, as soon as times got tough, and all of the pretty blossoms fell of the tree, they were hit hard and they couldn't push through it, they discovered that they were one tree, and not two.
Captain Antonio Corelli was put through a difficult situation in the beginning of the book, after he is stationed at Pelagia and Doctor Iannis's house he is forced to spend a lot of time around Pelagia even though she dislikes him very much. It becomes