Anna’s Dilemma

*Spoiler Alert* If you are not caught up to Season 4 of Downton Abbey, you might not want to read this post.

I’m still reeling from Season 4. One of the things I love about Downton is that it takes social issues from that time period and brings them to our attention in the present. We take so much for granted. We are allowed so many freedoms – like the freedom to stand up for ourselves, the freedom to speak out, and the freedom to do something about a crime that was committed against us. During the 1920’s women were definitely starting to find their way to speak out in society, they had just obtained the right to vote, but still, there were things that were simply not discussed for a variety of reasons.

The episode where Anna was raped proved to be very controversial in the UK and the US. More so than the makers of the show expected. I found this interview with actress Joanne Froggatt who plays Anna Bates where she talks about why Anna was so terrified to speak up.

I would love to hear your opinions on this topic! Leave a comment (on either one of my Downton posts) and receive a chance to win a hardback copy of The World of Downton Abbey by Jessica Fellows. It’s an absolutely gorgeous book.

Jessica Fellowes  is an English author, freelance journalist, and the niece of Lord Julian Fellowes, writer and Creator of Downton Abbey.

6 thoughts on “Anna’s Dilemma

  1. Nice blog and an interesting post. I, for one, am glad Fellowes wrote in the rape–otherwise, there was little conflict to sustain the “downstairs” part of the saga. There’s only so many cigarettes and conspiracies Thomas can produce, after all.

    On Anna’s silence–I was surprised the actress did not touch on Bates’ position in this matter, particularly his response if he discovered what had happened to her. But she did mention the reputation of the Country House, which was crucial to the survival of this outdated socio-economic unit, where the Crawleys were responsible for all aspects of life that went on at Downton Abbey. A difficult thing back then and today.

    • Hi Angelyn,

      Yes. Bates. There is a deep well in his character that we haven’t tapped into yet. Hopefully, there are more surprises in store where he is concerned. Thanks for the comment!!

  2. I loved this season, but it was over too soon! And, yes, I too was reminded of how lucky I am to live in these times. Julian Fellowes did it just right, not showing that Anna reasons for not reporting it was her fear that Bates would murder the bastard–and did in the end. I especially liked the look on Brendon Coyle’s face when he guessed who was responsible–and knew he’d make it so that Anna wouldn’t suffer having the man in the house again. Mary was very supportive in it all.

    • Thanks Rebecca! I agree, over way too soon! I was a little worried about Mary for a minute there in the last episode, but she pulled through for Anna and Bates. 🙂

  3. I thought when Anna revealed her secret to Lady Mary, it showed a great deal about the character of Mary that I didn’t know. Mary’s silence was truly heroic. She could’ve easily dismissed Anna if the rape had made her squeamish or she’d been repulsed in any way. Also, Mary is protective of her family and their reputation, and sacking Anna would’ve been the first choice of a woman who cared little about people. So I was amazed and happy that Anna believed she could confide in Lady Mary and that her ladyship was supportive. (I only wish she could be nicer to her sister.)

    Sarah Richmond

    • Hi Sarah!
      Yes, I am always pleasantly surprised at the loyalty of Lady Mary. She takes care of her people both upstairs and downstairs. She is a rather complicated character. I too, do not understand her animosity toward Edith. I wonder what would happen if she found out about Edith’s child. Would she support her sister’s desire to be near the baby or would she be afraid it would bring shame upon the house. Maybe that will be part of the storyline next season! Thanks for chiming in!!

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