Esther is practical, reliable, and down to earth. She is traditional in her beliefs and taken aback when others deviate from patterns of expected behavior; Jarndyce throws her for a loop when he acts as if they are old friends. Her past weighs heavily on her mind; her aunt’s berating over her low-born birth and the shame of it make Esther fearful that she will never be accepted by anyone. Her awareness of wickedness in other people prevents her from trusting them too easily, and she holds many of them at a distance. Esther foresees problems before they arise and does what she can to head them off, but sometimes is powerless to stop the inevitable. Her instincts are good, but she often doubts them (inferior Ne). Her desire to please and her great concern for others make Esther both sensitive and trustworthy with all the secrets of the house. She understands and accepts her mother’s need to keep their relationship a secret, even if it pains her immensely. She nearly marries the wrong man because of her unwillingness to break her promise and in doing so, injure his heart. Esther is always appropriate and dislikes making other people uncomfortable – so much so that she wears a veil after her face is marked by illness. She dislikes being taken advantage of and questions everything – from Jarndyce’s motivations to what Mr. Skimpole is up to. Esther wants to understand what is happening around her, how everyone else thinks and feels, and to solve the mystery of her mother’s name. She can put aside her emotions to make purely rational decisions.

Enneagram: 2w1 sp/so

Esther finds herself helping others even when it is inconvenient; she shows great compassion to orphans and tries to comfort children whoever she goes. She shows a strong dislike for the idea of abandoning your kids and leaving them to fend for themselves in the world – yet spends her own money to keep someone out of debtor’s prison, whom she doesn’t even like! She can be opinionated and aware of her own lack of importance – she has a negative self-image that does not feel worthy of love due to her mother’s abandonment, so she does not blame Guppy when he no longer wants to marry her after she has had the pox. She even tries to hide it from her friends to avoid making them feel bad. Given the chance between making a promise to Mr. Jarndyce of marriage and a hope in Dr. Woodcourt that may never come true, she chooses the more stable option and intends to hold by her word, even when Woodcourt returns and asks for her hand. She informs him she is not free to love him and cannot — a denial of her feelings in favor of her determination to remain true to her promises. She is quite firm in her statements to people, and aware of how she feels about things — telling Mr. Guppy that she will never love him nor accept his proposal, and challenging Mr. Skimpole out of condemnation of his behavior toward Richard. She alone will not stand for his excuses and makes him so uncomfortable, he hurries out of her presence. Esther is full of self-hatred and torment over being her mother’s shameful, ruinous secret, and this fear of being bad because of it drives her to be compassionate, good, and moral.