The Daughters of the Late Colonel

by

Katherine Mansfield

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on The Daughters of the Late Colonel can help.

Cyril Pinner Character Analysis

Cyril is the colonel’s grandson and Constantia and Josephine’s nephew. Polite but somewhat awkward, Cyril works in London and rarely visits his aunts: it is implied that he declined to attend his grandfather’s funeral (“What a blow his sweet, sympathetic little note had been!”). During one visit to Constantia and Josephine, depicted in a flashback, Cyril feels uncomfortable around his relatives and attempts to make a quick exit (likely lying about his business plans in order to leave his aunts). It is revealed that he knows very little about his father, Benny, and that they have not seen each other in a long time. He also has a prickly encounter with his senile, nearly deaf grandfather—which seems to be the reason that he did not attend the funeral. Cyril is the product of his family’s dysfunction, and he appears eager to avoid his family members at all costs. He is also the recipient of his grandfather’s timepiece.

Cyril Pinner Quotes in The Daughters of the Late Colonel

The The Daughters of the Late Colonel quotes below are all either spoken by Cyril Pinner or refer to Cyril Pinner . For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Patriarchy and Oppression Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Vintage edition of The Daughters of the Late Colonel published in 1991.
The Daughters of the Late Colonel Quotes

“Is your dear father still so fond of meringues?” asked Auntie Con gently. She winced faintly as she broke through the shell of hers.

“Well, I don’t quite know, Auntie Con,” said Cyril breezily.

At that they both looked up.

“Don’t know?” almost snapped Josephine. “Don’t know a thing like that about your own father, Cyril?”

“Surely,” said Auntie Con softly.

Cyril tried to laugh it off. “Oh, well,” he said, “it’s such a long time since—” He faltered. He stopped. Their faces were too much for him.

Related Characters: Josephine Pinner (speaker), Constantia Pinner (speaker), Cyril Pinner (speaker), Benny Pinner
Page Number: 250
Explanation and Analysis:

“I say, Auntie Con, isn’t your clock a bit slow? I’ve got to meet a man at—at Paddington just after five. I’m afraid I shan’t be able to stay very long with grandfather.”

“Oh, he won’t expect you to stay very long!” said Aunt Josephine.

Constantia was still gazing at the clock. She couldn’t make up her mind if it was fast or slow. It was one or the other, she felt almost certain of that. At any rate, it had been.

Related Characters: Josephine Pinner (speaker), Cyril Pinner (speaker), Constantia Pinner , The Colonel
Page Number: 251
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire The Daughters of the Late Colonel LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Daughters of the Late Colonel PDF

Cyril Pinner Character Timeline in The Daughters of the Late Colonel

The timeline below shows where the character Cyril Pinner appears in The Daughters of the Late Colonel. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
The Daughters of the Late Colonel
Family, Instability, and Fragmentation Theme Icon
Josephine thinks of Cyril and wonders whether it wouldn’t be more appropriate for the only grandson to have the... (full context)
Patriarchy and Oppression Theme Icon
Family, Instability, and Fragmentation Theme Icon
The sisters recall Cyril’s last visit. Josephine tells Cyril not to be frightened of eating their cakes, since she... (full context)
Family, Instability, and Fragmentation Theme Icon
Josephine offers Cyril a meringue, noting that Cyril’s father was fond of them. Constantia asks if Benny is... (full context)
Patriarchy and Oppression Theme Icon
Ambivalence and Dependency Theme Icon
Josephine asks Cyril to come and see his grandfather. Cyril remarks that he thinks their clock is a... (full context)
Patriarchy and Oppression Theme Icon
Family, Instability, and Fragmentation Theme Icon
Cyril and his aunts enter Grandfather Pinner’s room, where he sits in front of a fire... (full context)
Ambivalence and Dependency Theme Icon
Josephine decides to send Cyril the watch. She and Constantia are interrupted by Kate, who asks them, “Fried or boiled?”... (full context)