Function Order: Fi-Ne-Si-Te
Bella starts out her day by stating, “Today, I am going to make a difference.” She focuses on people and their needs—asking Vernon to work for her, even though she cannot afford it (she admits she has “no idea” how she is going to pay him), just to get him away from her “hateful” neighbor, accusing Alfie of playing on her emotions by telling her he is dying to get sympathy, and demanding to know why Vernon puts up with being mistreated. She’s both willing to allow Vernon to go back to his previous position, and insistent that Alfie remember that England is “no longer a place of indentured servitude”; she insists that Vernon can make his own decisions, and should be allowed to do so, but also argues that Alfie should treat him “like a person,” worthy of respect and compassion. She tends to keep her feelings inside herself—screaming out of frustration at a duck pond, and spending several days shut up in her room, unable to articulate her feelings of disappointment when she believes she has been jilted by a “cheater” after seeing a young man she is interested in aggressively pursuing another girl. The story she invents for Bill heavily reflects her own feelings and experiences, drawing from the loss of her parents and her being forced out into the world “alone” before she could fully understand anything. Rather than talk to Billy, she runs away from him until she finds out the truth of their misunderstanding. She cares so much about unwanted creatures, she adopts the “mangiest” duck she can find at the “adopt a duck society.” Bella considers herself a writer, but admits she spends very little time doing any actual writing, and “my book has no story at the moment.” She makes up a wonderful tale about Luna, a bird who earns her wings through courage and interest in moving beyond her woodland, on the spot, but once she reaches the end of her thought, she admits that she doesn’t know what comes next, and “cannot wait to find out,” implying that she makes it up as she goes. She starts having ideas and seeing her story grow, only after she interacts with the outside world in some way—weaving her gardening into Luna’s adventures, along with aspects of her own life. When asked about her interest in a young man, Bella confesses that “he makes me feel as if I can fly.” She also leaps to a conclusion about him, without stopping to gather the details—trusting her eyes rather than asking questions. She is routine-oriented until a bunch of people come into her life and transform it—always doing the same things every day, in the same order. Bella knows a great deal about books, and can tell people where to find specific things in the library, because she loves her job and has spent so much time there, but also forgets details sometimes. She has a preoccupation with order and her daily routine. At times, Bella says she must “look at the facts” … but her facts are irrational; she assumes she cannot fix up her backyard in a month, and that will mean she is evicted and forced to sleep in the park. She makes a half-assed attempt to “tidy up” but has no idea how to do it, and finally has to beg Alfie for assistance—insulting him in the process; she says if he weren’t such a wretched, horrid old man, he’d offer her some help and advice! She also wonders, after she “hires” Vernon, just how she’s going to afford to pay him. And, she’s always late for work.
Enneagram: 9w1 sp/so
Bella is quite settled comfortably into her little routine, in which she is rather inert; she intends to be a writer, but cannot find any ideas and does not spend much time writing. She also has no interest in the garden and so lets it go to wrack and ruin, with no thought about how it might impact her rent… but the more time she spends around Alfie, who loves gardening, the more of an interest she takes in it, and she makes it “her own” project – coming up with creative ideas such as a fish pond and designing beautiful garden schematics (Te). Bella avoids problems rather than tackles them head on, and at one point is shown laying in the middle of her work, rather than continuing to do it, since she has prematurely given up on finishing it in time. She will stand up for other people and tell them to assert themselves, then hide from her problems and refuse to communicate with Billy. She has a soft, likable persona despite her eccentricities, and easily warms up to people. Her 1 wing is obsessed with “order,” but she doesn’t mind breaking the rules for fun and to connect to people—she doesn’t get on Billy for eating and talking in the library and sneaks him in after hours to show him around and finish her story for him. At home, she is a meticulous housekeeper who keeps everything inside in order (but not the garden), so there’s nothing for Vernon to do for her, housekeeping-wise. She suffers from OCD throughout much of the story, but it lessens as she takes more of an avid interest in the outside world and the people in it, and spends less time cooped up indoors.