Downton Abbey: Edith Crawley [ISFP]

Functional Order: Fi-Se-Ni-Te

Judging Functional Axis:

Introverted Feeling (Fi) / Extroverted Thinking (Ti)

Edith is highly sensitive to insults and easily hurt by Mary’s various statements (“At least I’m not fishing with no bait”). She feels a strong need to be authentic to her feelings and holds true to them, even when it’s not the right time or place. In some instances, she can appear almost selfish in how she expresses herself (after a disaster around the dinner table, she draws attention to her ruined dress, rather than being concerned for Carson’s health). Edith does not appear to think about how her budding romance with a farmer will impact his wife. Edith fails to think about how spreading rumors of her sister’s affair with Pamuk may ruin her own chances at marriage; she complains to her husband that she is left alone to bring a new child into the world. She feels most useful when allowed to be true to herself an run a newspaper, which is when she brings in some Te development. She can be blunt under stress, frankly telling off her sister.

Perceiving Functional Axis:

Extroverted Sensing (Se) / Introverted Intuition (Ni)

Unlike her more idealistic sister Sybil, Edith actively wants to be hands-on and engaged with the outside world; she is at her happiest when she is allowed to be modern and do things with her hands — care for the soldiers in the convalescent home, learn to run a tractor and perform farm chores, step in as the editor when her lover goes overseas to obtain a divorce, etc. Edith sees and leaps on chances to find a beau, often because they are right in front of her and available. Some of her choices, such as to spread negative rumors about Mary, or her decision to put her daughter into a home near Downton, are short-sighted and damaging to the family. She does not show much Ni, except that she wants her life to be worth something and tends to set her heart on certain men. She can be somewhat naive about people’s intentions.

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Edith feels misunderstood, isolated, and unwanted within her family; she is continually overlooked and ignored, and feels that keenly. Her emotions drive her to need to assert herself in whatever way she can, to stand out; but she also sees her life as a great tragedy in which her sister is often the villain. Edith is emotional and insecure in her inadequacies, hurt whenever Mary says cruel things about how unattractive she is (“At least I’m not fishing with no bait”). Whenever she’s stressed, she becomes clingy and tries to appeal to others, almost starved for love (disintegrating to 2). As she matures, Edith becomes more principled and regretful over her previous vindictive actions (growing more toward 1). Her 3 wing makes her dramatic and competitive; she feels a need to lash out at her sister on equal terms and compete with her however she can. She also wants others to admire her, and feels like she needs to achieve to stand out and find happiness. Edith focuses on her own feelings and in responding to them; she’s torn apart by her negative self-appraisal in comparison to her more “glamorous” older sister.