In reality, he's a twisted version of The Pollyanna. His cheerful demeanor is due to some serious repression, resulting from a lifetime of mistreatment by his friends and relatives. The reason he goes along with whatever his aunts/the Drones/Jeeves say is that, if he examines his own desires too closely, his wall of repression will collapse and he'll end up going on a murderous rampage. In all likelihood, his apparent stupidity is also a front to protect him from the reality that everyone he knows is a Jerkass. This explains why someone as "mentally negligible" as Bertie is such a brilliant writer.
- Until he becomes so wearied with the act that he completely sheds his cheerful persona, moves to America, and becomes a brilliant, JerkAss, diagnostician.
- He'd be at least one hundred by then. House, however, would not be... Maybe if Bertie found some way of traveling in time?
- I have to say, I half believe this theory. It seems even more plausible in the books, and I find myself reading between the lines for Bertie's hidden angst.
- My own theory holds that tea works on Bertie like a drug. You know how he acts before he has his tea? That's his real personality. Notice how it's a lot more imperious and self-assertive.
- Highly plausible. I might add that Bertie is pretty free with his money and can't say no to anything, so Jeeves probably does this with his master's permission. (In one story, Jeeves owed someone money and asked to borrow fifty dollars. The answer was, of course, yes.)
Why, then, is he Reginald Pepper and not Reginald Wooster? There are any number of possible reasons for this. Wooster could be a pen name. Alternatively, young Reggie could simply be using an alias to get away from his dad's embarrassing reputation. (As of The Inimitable Jeeves, rumors that Bertie is insane have been flying free and fast—who knows how much that line of thinking has skyrocketed since?)
- This all begs the question, who is Reggie's mother? One of Bertie's harem?
Yes, I got the link to the Wikipedia article from the Living Emotional Crutch page, but it seems to fit like a glove.
This can easily lead into the next WMG...
The only reason he hasn't been scooped up and tossed into "some sort of a home" is that Jeeves keeps his reputation up and takes care of him. In one story, Aunt Dahlia goes so far as to tell Bertie that the only reason he's not in a padded cell is that she has "influence with the lunacy commissioners."
- ? Isn't this stating the obvious - after all, that's how Jeeves behaves in almost every story
- This theory actually fits pretty well with his second appearance in Much Obliged, Jeeves, where he's undergone a total personality change and a name change. The official explanation for the personality change is that he's come into money (which he has), and the explanation for the name change that Bertie got it wrong in Thank you, Jeeves (which is plausible) — but it could simply be that his personality in Much Obliged is his real personality, and that Bingley is his real name, "Brinkley" being an alias he adopted for his job with Bertie.
- It might even explain why he's so familiar with Jeeves (being the only person in the books to call him "Reggie") and even why Jeeves makes it clear that he disapproves of the man. Even if he isn't the Ax-Crazy lunatic he seemed, Bingley is still clearly a scoundrel and an opportunist, who would likely do anything if there was something in it for him.
So, Bertie Wooster is either a descendant or reincarnation of Arthur Pendragon, and therefore the rightful King of the Britons. Merlin, in the form of Jeeves, is once again on hand to dispense aid, wisdom and gentle instruction (in the 20th century, however, one does not turn one’s employer into birds of the air and beasts of the field and so forth. That is simply Not Done in polite society).
The last member of a Royal Family in the British Isles to be called Arthur was Arthur, Prince of Wales, eldest son and heir to the throne of Henry VII. He died before ascending to that throne, and was interred in Worcester Cathedral (and because British pronunciation had a huge falling out with British spelling somewhere back in the mists of time and are still not on speaking terms, it should be pointed out that ‘Worcester’ is pronounced ‘Wooster').
Frequently in the Jeeves canon, Jeeves himself is reported as seeming to appear and disappear, which Merlin was able to do in The Once and Future King.
Jeeves undertakes what may be considered twentieth century equivalents to the typical pastimes of the classic image of the magician. He reads philosophers, in much the same way the wizards of yore will have done the works of the Ancient Greek, Roman and Arabic natural philosophers, and he’s frequently described as being supremely skillful in the concocting of both cocktails and potion-like hangover cures, and if that isn’t modern alchemy I should very much like to know what is.
Jeeves’ encyclopedic knowledge of VIRTUALLY EVERYTHING IN EXISTENCE makes a lot of sense if you posit that he’s actually over two thousand years old and that his mental acuity is increasing as he grows younger.
The surname ‘Jeeves’ is thought to be Matronymic (that is, deriving not from the father, but the mother). Merlin is said to have been the child of a human woman, and a demon, ghost or fairy, depending who you ask. Whatever manner of supernatural being fathered Merlin, it’s not exactly likely that they stuck around to do their share of night-feeds, meaning that Merlin was probably raised by his mum.
Finally and crucially, Jeeves’ given name is ‘Reginald’. The name Reginald is a Latinisation of the Germanic name ‘Raginwald’ (occasionally ‘Raginald’), which is combination of the word Ragin, which means ‘advice’ or ‘counsel’ and Wald which means ‘rule’ or ‘ruler’. So the name Raginwald (and by extension its modern form ‘Reginald’) can be interpreted as ‘one who advises or counsels a ruler
- kudos for a) a wonderful theory after all the "Jeeves is evil and/or imaginary" and "Bertie is insane ones", and b) for perfectly getting the style of the books
- The Prince Arthur mentioned (eldest son of Henry VII) was the last member of the British Royal Family of that name with any chance at becoming King. More recent than that Prince Arthur was Queen Victoria’s youngest son, Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn, and his son, Prince Arthur of Connaught.
Both men share the habit of controlling those they supposedly work for, and both have a love of formal and long-winded speech. Both are supporters of higher culture and remain well-informed of current events. Both can also be very good at hiding their actual agenda from those they work for (albeit in Jeeves' case he's often working in Bertie's interests, but can't expose the plan before it's done). It's almost as if Sir Humphrey is what happens to the Jeeves genes in a more cynical age.
It's worth noting that Nigel Hawthorn who portrayed Sir Humphrey was born in 1929. Assuming Sir Humphrey was born around the same time, he could potentially have been the son of Jeeves' niece Mabel who was chorus girl age at that time.
Think about it. A butler who can do anything and fix any problem. Frequently enters and leaves the room undetected. And Bertie once commented that he "wished he had a soul..."
- Only Jeeves is a valet, not a butler.
- Bertie does note at one point that, yes, if called upon to do so, Jeeves can perform a butler's duties with excellence.
- This has been expanded upon in a fanfic, Green Ice which posits that Bertie's apparent obliviousness to the lasting effects of WWI is due to his having blocked the events from his memory, and his exaggerated cheerfulness, innocence and idiocy are all the result of a traumatic head injury, coupled with his mind breaking under the stress of the Front.
It's canon that Jeeves is a WWI veteran, and it's likely that Wooster served as well. During the war, Wooster saved Jeeves's life, and after the war, Jeeves, making ends meet working as a valet, learns who it was who saved him and discovered that he was in need of a valet and decided to repay the man who saved his life by working for him as the best valet that money could buy. Wooster, for his own part, doesn't realize Jeeves was the man who he saved.
Bertie's newt-fancying friend and school chum Gussie is actually some sort of human-fish hybrid, maybe even a deep one from the Cthulhu Mythos. The evidence is right in front of us:
- Looks like a fish. Described as "shrimp-like".
- Studies newts - amphibians inhabit and thrive in aquatic ecosystems. His understanding and kinship to newts comes from sharing their terrestrial and aquatic double nature.
- Needs constand hydration in the form of orange juice. Doesn't drink alcohol, because its dehydrating effects are more potent in Gussie's organism. He even mentions whisky burns his throat and makes him thirsty.
- Has trouble understanding human behavior, especially in regards to romantic relationships - thinks newts have it much easier.
- When Catsmeat got him drunk, he jumped into the Trafalguar Square fountain.
- At first was described as Bertie's cousin, then only as a childhood friend - Bertie's family is ashamed of Gussie's parentage.
- Dislikes vegetarianism. Clearly is more used to a carnivore fish's diet.
- Grows impatient with Madeline Bassett's obsession with stars and sunsets - he's more used to the darkness of the waters, of course.