Functional Order: Si-Te-Fi-Ne
Louise is a calm, sensible girl with both feet on the ground who expects that because she and Philip grew up together, spend a lot of time together, and are friends, that he should ask her to marry him at some point. She eventually gets her wish, but is not at all pleased in the meantime when Rachel arrives to “disrupt” things. She pays careful attention to Rachel and to Philip, and notices through his altered behavior that he is “besotted” with his dead uncle’s wife. To bring him back to earth, she tells him that Rachel came to her father to question the wording of the will and when she learned to marry again would lose her the inheritance, she said that “suited her just fine” (to remain single). She believes Rachel is using him for his money and playing him for a fool, but when they find a letter among Rachel’s things that suggests she may actually love Philip (in the book), Louise changes her mind and suggests that they may have been wrong about her. She can be quite blunt and straightforward, brutally answering Philip’s fantasies about Rachel being in love with him with sheer facts – Rachel came to visit them, to ask about the will, and has declared she has no interest in marrying anyone ever again. Upon entering the house and finding it in a terrible state, she demands to know why Philip lives in such squalor and asks him how many dogs have taken a dump in this place? She pointedly tells him he is being foolish and used, when she thinks Rachel is little more than a gold-digger. Though upset with him for making a fool of himself, Louise remains firmly in his corner, protective over him, and even asks him if he needs to talk about what happened at dinner, when Rachel humiliated him by denouncing his announcement of their engagement.
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Frank and straightforward, Louise believes in being appropriate, not looking foolish in front of other people, and making sensible decisions. The state of Philip’s house disgusts her, because it’s such a pigsty, so she sticks around to make it beautiful for Rachel’s arrival, and to give him some dignity. She is sometimes appalled at his behavior, since it is so “rude” (but also finds it amusing, when he declares that Rachel can sleep in a moth-eaten room quite well). She urges him to make more rational decisions, but is also able to forgive him his self-destructive passions. Louise goes out of her way to console and comfort him, in part because she is hopeful he might return her affections and stop seeing her as “my childhood friend.”