MBTI Type: ISTJ
Marilla is more practical than either of the two lovely souls that share her house; she knows how the world works, and wants time to think before she makes decisions. She knows Anne will change their lives considerably, and is aware of the full implications (they need a boy; they are parents now; she needs practical things, and a good education). Though she holds to certain traditional beliefs, Marilla is also open to progress; she does not want Anne to be “stuck” in her life. She should have an education, get married or not, whatever she wants; the pastor is being unreasonable! She shows occasional sentiment, as she muses on the past, her lost love in Gilbert’s father, and how much their lives changed when their brother died. She hasn’t much time for Anne’s “nonsense” or daydreams, but is the first older woman in Avonlea to open her mind to “feminism,” to believe in equality, to push Anne toward making her own choices, and to reject the pastor’s “old-fashioned” ideas about marriage (inferior Ne). Her bluntness seems harsh to Anne at first, but softens over time; even so, Marilla is still practical. She thinks about the logical consequences of their decisions, and tries to make prudent ones. She objects to Matthew spending money on “frivolous” items (but likes the dress); she is furious when she finds out he took out a loan, without consulting her. She packs up everything of value to pawn, when their finances get in a hole. She often acts on her feelings, sometimes with a sharp tongue, other times through physical interactions. Marilla’s emotion are repressed in the first few episodes; Anne isn’t even sure that Marilla LIKES her, because she cannot interpret the quiet, gentle deeds (such as Marilla smiling as she hangs out Anne’s dress, or makes her another one). She is “as stubborn as a mule” when crossed, but has a compassionate heart. Anne’s tormented cries trouble her. The best example of her intense internal emotions comes in the third episode, when she scrubs the house top to bottom, bakes endlessly, and frets without a word over Matthew and Anne’s absence (Si/Fi loop).
Enneagram: 1w9 sp/so
Marilla is focused on doing what is “right and proper,” and finds Anne difficult to deal with, because she can be careless, over-imaginative, irresponsible, and easily distracted. Marilla expects her to behave properly, apologize for her tantrums, finish her schoolwork on time, and for heaven’s sake, not burn down the house because she forgot to take a pie out of the oven! At first, Marilla comes across as rigid and unyielding. Over time, she learns to loosen up and accept Anne, but still has an idealistic desire to shape her into a good young woman. She and Rachel get into arguments at times over their strong differences of opinon — and Marilla has no trouble telling her off. Her 9 wing can be cold and withdrawn, but also hates change. Marilla gave up her entire life to duty and service, remaining with and caring for their parents, and then never moving off the farm or getting along with her own life, showing her 9 wing’s tendency to accept what is rather than change it.