Pride & Prejudice, Jane Austen
Dominant Fe: Lizzie is a tease, and she knows how to joke without being offensive (though not everyone gets her sense of humor). She teases so often that she even has a tough time being serious when her sister wants a serious answer from her. She always states her feelings expressly, but does so in a disguised joking manner so that others can’t tell her true feelings. As a result, it takes her ages to learn how to communicate with Mr. Darcy, who is blunt and straight forward in his talk. Lizzie is a romantic and would never marry for money. She is easily insulted, and openly shares her prejudice with others. She becomes friends with Mr. Wickham purely because she shares his resentment for Mr. Darcy.
Auxiliary Ni: Though Lizzie considers herself an excellent judge of other’s character, her opinions of others are often based off of false impressions and born out of her emotions. She stubbornly refuses to change her opinions, and as a result, it takes her a long time to see what people are truly like. Lizzie thinks long term, aiming for a happy marriage, rather than a financially enlightening one. She also considers how her behavior will impact her family’s reputation and doesn’t always approve of her sister’s behavior. When she realizes her faults, she changes for good. She does everything within her power to put right any wrongs she has done and fervently goes after what she believes is right.
Tertiary Se: Lizzie enjoys nature and makes time for lengthy walks and attending parties. She has little problem adjusting to group dynamics, and can converse easily with just about anyone. She is impatient and does not necessarily like to sit still for long periods of time. She pays close attention to her environment and watches other people’s behavior to try to judge their character. She is adaptable to change and willingly steps in to help others at the last minute (for instance, walking miles to visit her ill sister). Her adaptability carries over into conversation, where she acts to prevent uncomfortable topics from continuing.
Inferior Ti: Lizzie has a difficult time differentiating between truth and her own prejudices. She does not stop to consider other people’s perspectives until she realizes her own faults, and this often takes a long time, because she typically sees herself in a very positive light. In general, she has trouble accepting other people’s criticisms about herself and the people she loves. She doesn’t readily recognize the logical reasons for Darcy’s actions and as a result, she assumes that he is cruel and inconsiderate.
I’ve seen Lizzie typed as an INFJ in many places. However, I believe that if this were the case, her difficulties in understanding Mr. Darcy’s introverted tendencies would not have been so great.
7 thoughts on “Elisabeth Bennett: ENFJ”
This post is interesting but I do not believe Elizabeth to be an extroverted person. I have seen both of the movie versions of Pride & Prejudice as well as reading the book, and I have noticed that the characters of both movies tend to veer slightly off of what the book implied they were like. This seems to be due to the directors as well as the actors who portrayed the characters.
In the book, Elizabeth would spend quite a lot of time by herself especially when she received news and had to think through how to act on it or figure out how she felt about it. She would take long walks outside or stay in her room when she wanted to get away from people. These are very introverted traits.
It is also mentioned several times that Elizabeth could almost instantly pick up on what people were feeling and it would affect her own mood. This is especially obvious when she is worried about Jane but upon seeing that her sister is doing well, she cheers up. I have read that this is more of an INFJ trait of picking up on emotions so easily, more so than an ENFJ, but I am not totally certain in that.
In the 1995 movie (or was it a tv series?), the characters seem to follow more closely to the book. Of course, you can’t really judge five hours of content against two hours, but the portrayals of the actors characters seemed to be truer to what Austen wrote. Jennifer Ehle seemed to do a good job in showing more of the introverted side of Elizabeth, but it just does not show up as much in the movie.
The 2005 version of it was not near as good, but again different lengths. For Elizabeth, Kiera Knightley’s personality seemed to come out into her character, making Elizabeth seem much more extroverted than she really is. That also made her more of a silly person, more so than she should have been.
I also know an ENFJ as well as an INFJ, and from this experience, it is pretty clear to me that Elizabeth could not be an ENFJ. If she was, it would have been extremely difficult for her to understand the INTJness of Mr. Darcy, let alone, the introverted traits.
I’m not extremely experienced in typing characters yet, but these are my thoughts on the matter.
I do agree that the 1995 version is a closer representation than the 2005 version (never cared for the 2005 version myself, except I do personally think that Kiera Knightley did a better job as Lizzy).
Picking up on other people’s emotions easily is an upper Fe trait and is not limited strictly to INFJs. Looking at the facts from your first and second paragraphs however, I think these are all good points. However, any time I’ve read Pride and Prejudice, Lizzy has always struck me as more of a psuedo-extravert than a full-on introvert.
I disagree with you, and I don’t disagree with you often. If it were something trivial it could be ignored, but in a serious matter, such as this, it must be addressed.
All joking aside, I wouldn’t have said anything, but by your comment it appears that the main reason you think Elizabeth is extraverted is based on the supposition that her difficulty in understanding Mr. Darcy was due to his introverted tendencies. I believe that supposition is incorrect, and, if how you type her is effected by it, I feel obliged to explain why.
It was Mr. Darcy’s blunt criticism of Elizabeth and his disregard for her feelings that set her against him. After that first encounter with him Elizabeth only looked for his flaws and subconsciously chose to not understand his character. There’s more than one place in the book that indicates this. Mr. Darcy points it out during one of their banters where Elizabeth said his “defect is a propensity to hate every body,” and he countered her with, “And yours is willfully to misunderstand them.” And later on Elizabeth unwittingly admits it after Mr. Darcy asked to dance with her and Charlotte tries to console Elizabeth by saying she will find him agreeable, and Elizabeth said, “Heaven forbid! That would be the greatest misfortune of all! To find a man agreeable whom one is determined to hate! Do not wish me such an evil.” Also, after Elizabeth reads Mr. Darcy’s letter and realizes just how mistaken she was about both him and Wickham, she laments, “. . . Had I been in love, I could not have been more wretchedly blind . . . Pleased with the preference of one, and offended by the neglect of the other, on the very beginning of our acquaintance, I have courted prepossession and ignorance, and driven reason away, where either were concerned. Till this moment, I never knew myself.”
Also, Elizabeth didn’t have any trouble understanding Jane’s introversion, she even defended it against Charlotte, nor did she seem to have trouble understanding Mr. Bennet’s more eccentric introversion. So it doesn’t seem likely that she would’ve had a difficult time in understanding Mr. Darcy’s introversion if she wouldn’t have been so determined to only see his flaws and, as Mr. Darcy put it, to willfully misunderstand him.
All fair points. If I had time, I would do a re-annalysis, but I have too much Victorian Lit to read at present.
I agree–I think that Lizzy’s misunderstanding of Mr. Darcy is a deliberate choice, not something that naturally flows out of her true personality. When reading P&P, I’ve always thought that during the first half of the story, it really seems as though Lizzy is trying to make herself into a different sort of person than she actually is inside. She really is fairly logical and rational–rational enough to know that Mr. Darcy isn’t anywhere near as bad as she wants to think–but she suppresses that knowledge because, again, it’s not what she wants to think. Her rational side becomes much more apparent in the second half of the story (the way I read it, anyway). I’m not trying to say she’s a Thinking type rather than a Feeling type–I know she’s not. I’m more saying that her Thinking function is somewhat better developed than she would like us to believe.
I think Keira played her as an E which isn’t necessarily untruthful to how Austen wrote her, but when you watch Ehle and read the book, she’s an I. Why? There are many passages that describe her as walking by herself through the outdoors to clear her head. Very much an I trait. I do the same thing. She very good at interacting with people, and she does enjoy a ball here and there but she does need that recharge time. She doesn’t get nearly as much from socializing it as he mother, Kitty, and Lydia do. It’s not like she can’rt access her E function, but she does need to take a break from people to retract and asses the situation more clearly. I don’t think in inappropriate for an acctress to play Lizzie as an E, it’s not totally for gone from her character as she can access E well. Now Darcy? If and actor played him as an E, I’d say that actor is an idiot. It’s not truthful to original Austen at all. He doesn’t access E at all well, which is what gives him at times, social anxiety. Colin played him just comfortable with not talking, which isn’t a bad thing, I adore Colin, but I LOVE how McFadyen gave the social event anxiety aspect of him. It gives the justification for others to see him as rude and misunderstand him, which is the point of practically the whole damn story. Our misunderstandings and first impressions of people are not always correct.
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You described this really well! I don’t see at all really how she could be an introvert.
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