the sweetest spirit under this roof is gone

Downton Abbey: Sybil Crawley – INFP

See also this post about Sybil, as well as my other Downton Abbey typings (so far).

Fi: The first impressions we get of Sybil are of her kindness and empathy (She defends Edith’s crying after Patrick’s funeral, tries to reassure Mary (“I know you’re sad about Patrick. Whatever you say, I know it.”), and she makes it her mission to help Gwen find a job as a secretary.). We also get to see her valuing morals early on, first through gentle remonstrations to her sisters (Mary: “I was only going to marry him if nothing better turned up.”, Sybil: “Mary, what a horrid thing to say.”, “You shouldn’t laugh, that’s so unkind.” (about Mary and Edith likening Matthew to a sea monster)), but then also by giving her opinion freely and being perfectly honest about things (“Of course it is [worth it], because of the people who will live in them.” (about Robert and Matthew restoring houses in the village), “I know this is hard for you to grasp, but I’m not there to go out to dinner. I’m there to learn.”, “He is a person. He can discuss other things.”, “I’m nor eloping like a thief in the night. I might have once, but Mary and Edith talked me out of it.”). She has a deep interest in helping others and doing good (“Because it’s the gloomy things that need our help. If everything in the garden’s sunny, why meddle?”), and she is passionately immersed in her causes (“Papa, I’m sorry I disobeyed you, but I’m interested. I’m political. I have opinions.”, “Blame me.”, “I will not give him up!”). Others often mention her gentleness when describing her (Isobel: “Her innocence will protect her.”, Mrs Hughes: “The sweetest spirit under this roof has gone.”, Thomas: “In my life I can tell you not many have been kind to me. She was one of the few.”, Mrs Hughes: “She was a sweet, kind person. And a real beauty. Inside and out.”, Gwen: “Her kindness changed my life.”), but also her single-mindedness (Matthew: “I admire Sybil’s passion, though.”, O’Brien: “So, Lady Sybil got off all right in the end. I’m afraid we have to admit, she knows what she wants.” Cora: Yes. She certainly does.”, Mary: “We can’t leave all the moral high ground to Sybil. She might get lonely there.”, “But I am sure! How many times do I have to say it?”, Anna: “Aren’t I as strong as Lady Sybil?”, Mary: “Sybil’s the strong one. She really doesn’t care what people think, but I’m afraid I do.”, Branson: “There aren’t many as free as my Sybil.”). She’s sensitive and quick to take offence at indirect or implied criticism (“What do you want from me? Am I to see if Sir Richard Carlisle has a younger brother? One who’s even richer than he is?”, “Appropriate for whom?”, “I don’t deserve to be told off. Not by her or by you.”, “Perhaps. But we do have feelings and don’t make the mistake of thinking we don’t.”). As she always gives 100% of herself into something, she desires the same whole-heartedness from others (“Then be on my side!”).

Ne: Sybil enjoys the idea of something (“I think it’s romantic.”, “Why, Granny, you’re a romantic.”) and has no trouble in seeing possibilities everywhere, which she often uses to cheer other people up (“Then we must be ready by tomorrow, mustn’t we?”, “You’ll see. We’re not giving up. No one hits the bull’s eye with the first arrow.”, “Then I’m a fool for I’m a long way from being beaten yet.”, “Then that’s why we must stick together. Your dream is my dream now, and I’ll make it come true.”, “But have you filled the post yet? Because I know just the woman.”, “Trust me, you have a talent that none of the rest of us have. Just find out what it is and use it.”, “But you believed in him, whoever he was, and that’s worth something.”). She’s often frustrated at other people being unable to think outside the box (“Women must get the vote, mustn’t they, Branson? Why does the prime minister resist the inevitable?”, “Why will we only have officers? Surely all wounded men need to convalesce.”, Mary: “The chauffeur? Branson?” Sybil: “Oh, how disappointing of you.”, “But I’m not giving up my world! They want to give me up. That’s their affair. I’m perfectly happy to carry on being friends with everyone.”). She usually believes the best of people (“I expect Mary was just showing the duke the house, weren’t you?”) and isn’t prejudiced against them because of social rules (for example, she tries to defend Matthew from her sisters when he first arrives). She is excited with new ideas that are congruent with her values (Fi-Ne), seen in her enthusiasm to help Gwen (“I think it’s terrific that people make their own lives, especially women.”), her interest in politics and feminism, even in her love for Tom Branson (“That I’m ready to travel…and you are my ticket.”). They also help her when she’s feeling down (for example when Isobel cheers her up by suggesting to train as a nurse and learn new things, like cooking.) She often challenges the status quo and doing things in a certain way just because it is done like that (“But nobody learns anything from a governess apart from French and how to curtsy.”, “I don’t know why we bother with corsets. Men don’t wear them and they look perfectly normal in their clothes.”). She takes her inspirations from the world around her and is constantly comparing situations and ideas in her head (for example she has the idea for Gwen to fake being ill in order to go to her interview from Anna having been ill the day before, and she is inspired to give Tom her final answer by Matthew and Lavinia announcing their marriage.). Since she seeks meaning in everything, she doesn’t value things without seeing a point to them (Ne-Te) (“But what is the point of Mama’s soirees? What are they for?”).

Si: Though fascinated by new ideas, Sybil prefers to mix novelty with the familiar, and in details – for example with her “new frock” (“Can it be my choice this time?“, Edith: “What do you want her to make?” Sybil: “Something new and exciting.”, “Is there anything more thrilling than a new frock?”). She knows her family well enough to not expect support in her political interests (“I knew you wouldn’t approve.”), and thus keeps her visiting political events a secret. She is also bitter about them wanting to return to the state of things before the war (Sybil always is completely immersed in the present: Branson: “So you wouldn’t go back? To your life before the war?” Sybil: “No. No, I can never go back to that.”, “But I just can’t think about it all until the war is over. It won’t be long now. So, will you wait?”, “They were sighing for the old days at dinner, but all I could do was think about how much more I want from life now than I did then.”, “I don’t want to get used to it.”). She pretends not to feel the parting when she goes to train as a nurse, but once she is alone in the car, she starts to cry, and she tells Branson that it’s hard for her to let go (“It’ll be hard to let you go, my last link with home.”). She also admits to him that she finds it hard to break away from her old world (“You say I’m a free spirit, and I hope I am. But you’re asking me to give up my whole world and everyone in it.”), and her meditation on whether or not she loves Branson takes two years. After her hasty decision to elope with him, she is quickly persuaded by Mary and Edith to return to Downton and to pursue a more open and gradual (Fi-Si) way of change (“I don’t like deceit and our parents don’t deserve it. So, I’ll go back with them.”). She also gets suddenly uncomfortable when Branson enters the drawing-room to let them know about their engagement (“I don’t think this is such a good idea. We mustn’t worry Granny.”). She’s also uncomfortable with Branson causing conflict after their return to Downton and tries to smooth things over (“Please don’t talk about Ireland all the time. I just want to make things easier for you.”).

Te: Seen in her need to take action in order to help others (as with Gwen), and later explored in her growing need for “real” work (“I want to do a real job. Real work.”, “I know what it is to work now. To have a full day, to be tired in a good way. I don’t want to start dress fittings or paying calls or standing behind the guns.”), Sybil is always searching for a task in order to feel useful and to have a purpose (“I just feel so useless.”, “but I feel useful for the first time in my life, and that must be a good thing.”). She also advises Edith to seek work as a remedy for her low spirits (“It’s doing nothing that’s the enemy.”). She is soft-spoken and kind, but she gets blunt and outspoken when it comes to her opinions and decisions. She is unapologetic about her values (“If you mean do I think women should have the vote, of course I do.”, “But I don’t acknowledge it. You want me to give up the man I love for a system I don’t believe in. Where’s the sense in that?”), and when really angry, she gets aggressive and tends to be harsh and extreme (“If you punish Branson, I’ll never speak to you again, never!”, “But if I find tomorrow that Branson is missing, I’ll run away, I warn you.” […] “Well, I can’t think now, but I will go, and you’ll be sorry.”, “I don’t want any money and you can hardly lock me up until I die!”). She longs to live her feelings and values, finding satisfaction in an “all or nothing”-attitude (“It is drastic. There’s no going back once I’ve done it, but that’s what I want. No going back.”, Branson: “You won’t mind burning your bridges?”, Sybil: “Mind? Fetch me the matches!”). She also has a streak of sarcasm (“Well, bully for that.”, “Am I so weak you believe I could be talked out of giving my heart in five minutes flat?”) and sass (“Then she can jolly well wait.” (about Violet), “Hear, hear!” (to Anna’s opinion on suffragettes), “Good evening, everyone.” (showing off her trousers), “Really, Branson, I thought I gave the orders.”, Edith: “I shan’t sleep a wink.” Sybil: “Tonight or tomorrow.” Violet: “Sybil, vulgarity is no substitute for wit.” Sybil: “Well, you started it.”). Since Te is her inferior function, it makes her prone to precipitous action (seen for example in her elopement with Branson, or “Everyone knows that [how to fill a kettle]).