Functional Order: Te-Si-Ne-Fi
Mrs. Danvers is an efficient and hard-nosed housekeeper, easily able to organize the staff and keep them in line, but intimidating to Mrs. de Winters because of her distant efficiency. She manipulates people for her own pleasure and to create tangible results—destroy the marriage she disapproves of and that has replaced her beloved Rebecca. She intimidates the new Mrs. De Winter through her insistence of clinging to the past and holding onto precedent; she organizes the house according to “how it has always been done,” asks the new lady of the house for information according to her new status (as a subtle way to manipulate and intimidate her, by reminding her that Rebecca did these things better), and has a meticulous way of doing things. But she measures everything according to its personal impact on herself. She loved Rebecca even more, because she raised her from childhood, as a mother-figure. She looks back with fondness on their memories together, the brushing of her hair, the laying out of her garments, the sharing of secrets and scorn for her lovers, whom Rebecca used and discarded. She follows the path well-worn for her, knowing manipulating the heroine into wearing the same dress to the ball will upset Maxim, rather than make him happy, but doesn’t have a good sense of the larger picture. It never occurs to her that Max might be guilty for Rebecca’s death until the inquest. Nor does she think the new lady of the house might have stolen, dropped, or lost the priceless figurine from the morning room. She is creative and creepy in how she imagines Rebecca is still living in the house, as a ghost, and watching her husband with his new wife. “What might she be thinking about you?” she asks. Mrs. Danvers wallows in her own feelings about what happened, reacting to her own feelings at the expense of her employers, and lying to protect herself and make her mistress seem in the wrong. Her later actions, of what she chooses to do and how she punishes Maxim for his crime, betrayal her deep emotional attachment to a past that is dead and gone, and her unwillingness to live on without it.
Enneagram: 8w9 sx/sp
Mrs. Danvers has a fierce reputation as someone who knows “how to run things” and does so with an iron resolve. She is intimidating to other people, particularly her new mistress, as a result, because she is efficient, detached, pragmatic, and distant. She starts angling for power, authority, and to intimidate her new mistress, the instant she sets foot in the house. Mrs. Danvers looks for ways to make her feel small and unwanted, even goading her to commit suicide after she manipulates her into making a fool of herself at the ball and enraging her husband. Deeply resentful of the new Mrs. DeWinter, she acts out of a place of veiled condescension and coldness. She believes in punishing wrongdoing and wants to fire a young man she believes has broken a porcelain figurine and lied about it. Then, when she suspects that Maxim has been involved in her former mistress’ death, she wants the law to punish him, and when that fails, she burns down his house to destroy it, thereby enacting vengeance herself. She can be unfailingly calm and frightening in her sense of detachment and disinterest.