Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

Psipsina Character Analysis

A pine marten that Lemoni finds caught in a fence and Dr. Iannis decides to keep as a pet. Psipsina earns her name because Lemoni told Dr. Iannis that she found "a funny kind of cat"--"Psipsina" is the Greek equivalent of calling a cat "Puss." Though Pelagia initially resents having to grind up mice for Psipsina, they soon become close and Psipsina sleeps with Pelagia at night. She's an active and mischievous pet and climbs the walls; the neighbors resent her because she steals eggs from their chickens. Psipsina is the only individual to recognize Mandras when he returns from fighting for the Greeks--she's only truly friendly to people she knows, which tips Pelagia off to Mandras's identity. Psipsina also becomes extremely friendly with Corelli after a somewhat rocky start in which she bites him. During the German occupation of Cephalonia, a German soldier clubs Psipsina and kills her for being tame.
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Psipsina Character Timeline in Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

The timeline below shows where the character Psipsina appears in Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 9. August 15th, 1940
Power, Reality, and Absurdity Theme Icon
History and Storytelling Theme Icon
...the obsessions of Hitler or Mussolini. Lemoni declares that the pine marten should be called Psipsina, and won't listen that that's an inappropriate name--she insists she's not a lemon, and yet... (full context)
War: Horror, Beauty, and Humanity Theme Icon
Politics and Friendship Theme Icon
...want to leave a widow. Six hours later, after napping, chasing the goat, and feeding Psipsina, Dr. Iannis returns to the kapheneia. He knows something is wrong as soon as he... (full context)
Chapter 11. Pelagia and Mandras
War: Horror, Beauty, and Humanity Theme Icon
Family, Opportunity, and Gender Dynamics Theme Icon
As Pelagia naps, she grouses that it's too hot. Psipsina settles herself on Pelagia's chest, making her even hotter. Pelagia thinks of Dr. Iannis saying... (full context)
Family, Opportunity, and Gender Dynamics Theme Icon
...communal oven and wonders where Mandras is. She promises she won't give her fish to Psipsina if Mandras comes for dinner. (full context)
Chapter 16. Letters to Mandras at the Front
Power, Reality, and Absurdity Theme Icon
Family, Opportunity, and Gender Dynamics Theme Icon
...Everyone is hungry and it's been stormy and cold. The waistcoat is nearly finished, but Psipsina vomited on the bedcover and the goat ate a few bites of it. (full context)
Chapter 20. The Wild Man of the Ice
War: Horror, Beauty, and Humanity Theme Icon
Politics and Friendship Theme Icon
...the mountains and when Pelagia asks him to leave, he says he has no boots. Psipsina comes inside, races to the man, and finds a scrap of cheese in his pocket.... (full context)
Chapter 22. Mandras Behind the Veil
War: Horror, Beauty, and Humanity Theme Icon
Power, Reality, and Absurdity Theme Icon
...miles to Pelagia's house. When he arrived, however, she was disgusted. He was disappointed that Psipsina was the only one who recognized him. Mandras says that there was also great beauty... (full context)
Chapter 25. Resistance
War: Horror, Beauty, and Humanity Theme Icon
...about the "weasel" on his bed. Pelagia tells him that she's a "Greek cat" named Psipsina. Corelli attempts to stroke Psipsina but she bites him. He feels foolish and unloved and... (full context)
Chapter 26. Sharp Edges
Politics and Friendship Theme Icon
Family, Opportunity, and Gender Dynamics Theme Icon
...paying rent and offers her a chunk of salami, saying he already gave some to Psipsina. A week later, the refurbished jeep explodes and kills a young member of La Scala. (full context)
Chapter 31. A Problem with Eyes
War: Horror, Beauty, and Humanity Theme Icon
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...as she realizes she's less angry. She enjoys Corelli's greetings and he plays amusingly with Psipsina. He's also curious and can sit watching Pelagia work on her bedcover for hours. She... (full context)
Chapter 33. A Problem with Hands
Politics and Friendship Theme Icon
Family, Opportunity, and Gender Dynamics Theme Icon
...over what to do. She decides to leave it there and hope he doesn't notice. Psipsina saves Pelagia by scratching at the door, creating an excuse to move away. Corelli smiles... (full context)
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Pelagia scoops Psipsina out of Corelli's lap and begins to brush at his wet and dirty breeches, but... (full context)
Chapter 41. Snails
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Dr. Iannis looks out the window to see Corelli sneaking up on Lemoni. Psipsina settles herself on his writing, and the doctor has a splendid idea. He interrupts Corelli... (full context)
Chapter 44. Theft
Power, Reality, and Absurdity Theme Icon
Politics and Friendship Theme Icon
...middle of the night to the sound of his chickens in distress. He figures that Psipsina is in his coop again and vows to kill her. He pulls on his boots,... (full context)
Chapter 62. Of the German Occupation
War: Horror, Beauty, and Humanity Theme Icon
Politics and Friendship Theme Icon
...the Germans were barely human. They stole, raped, and let people starve. One soldier killed Psipsina, and others burned Drosoula with cigarettes. That year, neither the holy snakes nor the sacred... (full context)