No Spoilers for the season, but if you have seen the show you know Mary and her , well, we’ll just call it attitude.
So long as we have watched the show, I have told Travis I get her. No, I don’t always agree with her but I see things from her perspective. She is angry with society because she can’t keep her born privilege without marrying the ‘right guy’ because she cannot be the inheritor of her father’s estate. This is key, because she cannot have this it causes her to be aggressive, harsh and demeaning. She maybe strong and determined to maintain life as it has been, she is more of a feminist than her even youngest little sister, Sybil, would ever come to realize.
Her relationship with her younger sister, Edith (middle child), is particularly hard. I get it though. I have a little sister and probably about as far in apart in age as these two are supposed to be. And while living at home for 16-ish years together, I can say it wasn’t joyous sometimes. Yes, we could get along but it didn’t take much to push one or both over the edge. In fact it was almost to easy. My sister and I have wildly different personalities, the way Mary & Edith have wildly different personalities, interests and hobbies.
Mary is secretly building her wall. She protects herself by being combative and keeping everyone at a length she can manage. Which it seems draws men closer to her, this game of hard to get is for her gain & fun. And when Edith says and does things not out of spite but pure open happiness for herself and at times for her sister, Mary protects herself with snide remarks out of jealousy & acting pompous like she doesn’t need the things in life that bring Edith joy; independence of driving a car, owning a magazine & private loft in London. We see Mary as uptight, pompous and downright rude for a portion of the season, she does this in an effort to maintain her position of power, which is dwindling in prestige and importance.
While Mary is often rude, impulsive, and says what is on her mind; I get her frustration with life. The frustration of not being able to live up to society because you’re a girl (don’t we all?!). I get her frustration with how she ought to make the logical decision when it comes to marriage decisions, instead of the heart. (No, worries I married with my heart, and am doomed to a life as a poor artist!) I get her determination to be strong, when it seems impossible. I get her wanting to preserve her family home and be a productive member of the family.
No, she isn’t always kind. But all characters are flawed. Travis doesn’t understand why I relate to Mary. It’s all the above and well, we are both oldest sisters…only we know the hardship of leading the younger siblings and making all the mistakes along the way. Making us determined and stubborn.
Which Downton Abbey Character do you find yourself really understanding on a personal level? Do you enjoy the show? Can’t wait for the finale!