Mary is a sensible girl who arrives in Cranford frustrated with her life at home. She soon finds ways to blend into the society at Cranford, and respects their different traditions from her own, but also does not embrace them. Mary at first tries to live within the expectations of the time, but soon breaks out of them. She is a little apprehensive, but also excited, about trying new things—such as the railroad. Others’ courage inspires her to similar actions. Seeing Mattie’s efforts to change the town’s opinion of the railway inspires her to break off an engagement to a man she does not love, and go away to the city to become a writer. She tolerantly and patiently works with the ladies of the town to reconcile them, take care of Mattie’s financial needs, and begin new enterprises. She also bases her expectations of her stepmother’s behavior on their previous encounters (“Do not touch my hand! She will imagine us engaged!”). Mary shows little inclination to read into things, until she sees the evidence (upon hearing a valentine arrived all “splotched and blotted,” she finds the culprit due to him just sending her a letter in the same writing) and can be leery of the unknown. She is straightforward in expressing her opinions and feelings, most of the time – she shows her distaste for her stepmother, but also represses these feelings (for the most part) in public and tries to be appropriate. Mary reconciles all the townspeople to each other and does not judge them, except when one of the group “excludes them” as being “not good enough company” for a highborn lady. She finds a man’s tricks meddlesome and reproaches him in a letter for his bad behavior. Mary is also rational. She’s able to control her feelings and assist with surgeries (including great amounts of blood, and sawing off bones); showing great compassion to the patients, but also not “fainting.” She understands Mattie’s need to honor her sister, but also encourages her to become independent of her memory and make her own decisions.

Enneagram: 1w2 sp/so

She is a virtuous girl who disapproves of her stepmother’s callous social behaviors and demands that she put on “airs.” Mary hates pretense and fakery. She dislikes rudeness. She comes down hard on the man she likes, when she finds out he has “ruined” his best friend’s life with a mean-spirited prank, then goes about town with the news, to soothe ruffled spirits and reassure the ladies they were not singled out for abuse. Mary reminds the servants to be obedient, and not hysterical, and asks them to abide by their mistress’ wishes. She calmly steps into action when necessary, assisting with surgeries and keeping a clear head. Her 2 wing is helpful and eager to defend others.