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GKM 4600 Lecture Notes - Ouzo, Souvlaki

Modern Greek
Course Code
GKM 4600
Michail Vitopolous

of 3
Catherine Kircos
February 26, 2013
GKM 4600
Red Dyed Hair Chapter Summaries Ch. 7-10
Chapter 7: The Metamorphosis
This chapter continues to describe Louis’s marriage to Aleka. While Aleka is out of the
house looking at an apartment she convinced Louis to buy, and Chrysanthi’s husband is out at
his cabin for a few days in Aegina, Louis has succeeded in transforming Chrysanthi into the
youthful woman she used to be. He persuaded her to dye her hair blonde, to shave her legs,
and to start drinking ouzo. Louis invites the narrator and Liakopoulos over for a party along with
Chrysanthi the night that Antypas is set to arrive home from Aegina (though Louis has told
everyone that he will not arrive home until the next day). Liakopoulos ends up sleeping with
Chrysanthi. When Antypas arrives home that night, he finds Chrysanthi dancing with
Liakopoulos and as a transformed woman. When Antypas figures out that Louis has
transformed her, he kicks him and Aleka out of the house by throwing all of their possessions
out the window. It is at this point that Aleka begins seeing Mr. Aargyros, the owner of the
apartment Aleka wanted to buy. Chrysanthi continues to see Liakopoulos behind her husband’s
The narrator then goes on a tangent to tell the story of when Louis worked as a
women’s hairdresser. Louis could not get a job without having secured his papers from the
government after taking a loyalty oath, and the government would not let him take the oath
because they did not believe him to be sincere. The only job Louis could get was as a
hairdresser. Louis is having an affair with the owner of the salon, Carmen, and she ends up
pregnant. Carmen wants to marry Louis, but Louis tells her to get an abortion. Louis is then
fired from the job, despite all the business he has brought in.
Chapter 8: The Last Supper
The narrator describes their friend Lazaris, who is a kiss-ass to his professor at the
university and one day hopes for an academic career. His mother works herself very hard
despite her arthritis to pay for Lazaris’ goals, even though he doesn’t treat her well. Lazaris
hadn’t been around for a while, probably because Louis and the other guys picked on him, until
he heard about Louis’s divorce and decided to reappear. Agis reveals a secret about Lazaris,
which is that once when his mother took in a Communist who had escaped from prison, Lazaris
kicked him out to the street in broad daylight, knowing that a full-blown manhunt was
underway and that the escaped prisoner would be killed almost instantly.
There is a rain storm in town, and Louis’s basement floods badly, almost drowning his
father and landing him in the hospital. Louis’s sister, who has been paying all the bills, gets fed
up and leaves with Panagos, a wealthy owner of several grocery stores and bakeries. The
narrator tells that Panagos was friends with Louis’s father, and tried to persuade him to sign the
loyalty oath in order to keep his job with the railroad. Louis’s father refuses to give up on his
ideas, and is fired from his job. The people in town began to avoid Louis and his father, for fear
Catherine Kircos
February 26, 2013
GKM 4600
that they would be blacklisted too. Lazaris began to start avoiding Louis, though the narrator
did not. Louis’s father started spending all of his time in his basement sitting in an old armchair
and listening to the radio. Soon, Athanasia (Louis’s father’s wife) is fired from her job because
of her husband. That night, Athanasia throws a party for Louis’s father’s name day and invites
quite a few people. Athanasia goes out to buy beer at the corner grocer, and does not return.
The narrator then notices that Lazaris is also gone. Soon, the police break in, and everyone is
arrested except for Athena (Panagos’s wife) and Antigone (Louis’s sister).
Chapter 9: Flight
The narrator meets Louis at a souvlaki joint near the train station, after not having seen
Louis for a long time. Louis has been robbed of almost everything he owns. Sophia, a girl from
the circus Louis used to work with, has been following him around as she was robbed too and
they had slept together. The narrator reveals that Antigone has also lost her job because her
father refused to sign the loyalty oath.
The narrator briefly tells the story of how he met his wife Julia. He suspects that his
mother had been plotting to set them up all along, but didn’t realize this until they were
already together. She comes from a somewhat wealthy family and the narrator agrees that it
would be a good match. The narrator has given up on being with Martha who he was obsessed
with after he realizes that she hates him, probably because he has been to cowardly to make a
At the end of the chapter, the group of friends clear out Louis’s apartment which is
ruined from the flood. They go to stay with Louis’s uncle Elias who is also a blacklisted refugee.
Chapter 10: Soirées
The narrator runs into Louis a while later, and Louis reveals that he is married again, this
time to a girl named Litsa (whom he married to cancel out the debt he had with her sister).
They live together in a house that Louis owns, and Louis invites the narrator and Julia to come
over. The house is more like a shack, made from pieces of old stage play decorations. Litsa is a
very beautiful woman with an injury to her leg, and because of it she never leaves the house
except to see doctors. Louis reveals that Antigone is still with Panagos and that they have a
child now. Louis has now managed to get his seaman’s papers and he’s a captain now.
The narrator gets a call from Lazaris as he is about to leave, telling him to wait and that
he would be right over. Lazaris reveals that Louis is under arrest for killing a Dutch girl with his
motorbike. The narrator assumes that he has killed Fatmé. Lazaris says that Louis got off easy
with only a manslaughter charge, and that he needs money for bail. Additionally, Louis wasn’t
even hurt very badly. He had a concussion and a few broken fingers and still had to spend some
time in the hospital. On a side note, Julia’s Aunt Eustathia is now living with Manolopoulos and
Catherine Kircos
February 26, 2013
GKM 4600
During this chapter, the narrator characterizes Louis as “more like a character, a hero
from a book of some kind than a real, living person” (p. 291). He is also characterized as a
“more like a mythical figure than a real, live person with his own wants and needs” (p. 293). It is
further said that “he is a prisoner of his own myth – and he knows it” (p. 294). The women
(Martha and Julia) agree that he is selfish and doesn’t care about anyone else, even his own
daughter who he barely sees. They also believe that he is dangerous, with which Manolopoulos
agrees. However, Manolopoulos defends Louis, saying that none of them are half the man Louis
is. Manolopoulos says that Louis done the impossible by being able to “fit in everywhere, and
still not give up a shred of his freedom, still stay himself, and be his own man.” The other
friends admit that they dream of doing the things that Louis does, but that they are stopped by
“common sense” or “good manners”.