Function Order: Fi-Ne-Si-Te
“Dear reader, if there is a scandal, I shall uncover it.” Lady Whistledown
[This profile contains spoilers about the ending of season one.]
Penelope makes an assumption that by revealing Marina’s secret in public, thereby saving Colin from her ‘predatory behavior,’ will mean Colin is free to hear that she loves him… and she miscalculates. She hurts him by the reveal, makes him feel used, and winds up encouraging him unintentionally to join the army so he can escape the scandal, which deprives her of what she wanted in the first place: a chance, at long last, to express the feelings for him that she has kept private for many years. She thinks just doing the “right thing” will make everything all right… and it doesn’t. Penelope’s feelings are separate from everyone else’s, and whatever is happening around her. Even after the loss of her father, it is Colin’s departure she cries about in Eloise’s arms, not her father’s death. She has strong opinions about what Marina is doing (in catching various suitors, in an attempt to prevent her own scandal from becoming public), but never directly comes out and says what is in her heart—that she loves Colin, and Marina should not marry him unless she loves him (and even then, not at all). She has kept these feelings so private that not even Colin’s sister, Eloise, with whom she spends most of her time, knows the truth. Penelope therefore turns to writing as a form of self-expression, and her witty, sarcastic, and biting commentary on society and its ills, from the “sparkling diamond” of Daphne to others “fall from grace” allows her to manipulate situations and increase her self-importance anonymously, while needing to face none of the people she has damaged. When her subtle, behind-the-scenes attempts to convince Marina to leave Colin alone fail, she exposes her scandal to London, in the process making her own family social pariahs. Penelope’s desire to do this, out of a sense of moral justice, failed to take into account the severe backlash against herself. It deprives her of good company, which means she has little of interest to write in her scandal sheet, since she knows nothing that goes on either without seeing it for herself or hearing about it. Many of her speculations are “open-ended,” where she leaves the reader to puzzle out what might happen next, or what the broader implications of a situation “might” be.
Enneagram: 9w1 so/sp
Penelope has a hard time standing up for herself, or being specific about what she wants; she expresses it best when a batch of new gowns arrive for her and her sisters. She picks up hers, sighs, and says, “Of course mine is yellow,” but makes no further protest or objection. She does not raise her concerns within the family often, since she assumes no one cares (and for the most part, no one does). She cannot tell Colin that Marina is playing him straight out, because it’s “mean” and will hurt his feelings. She does lash out at Eloise when she is in emotional distress, but then feels bad about it later and tries to avoid her in public. Even her column, in which she goes by a secret name to protect herself, is a passive-aggressive backlash against the society that she disdains, and that has not treated her well. She can take all the digs at them that she wants, and never has to directly face any criticism in return, or deal with people’s anger or their hurt feelings. She is often appropriate in public, even if she does not want to be, and doesn’t approve of Marina’s decisions on moral grounds (she intends to mislead people).