Guest post by E.J., INTJ
The Chronicles of Narnia, C.S. Lewis
Dominant Si: Susan generally tries to rely on past experience to solve the problems that she and her siblings face. When the Pevensies are sent away from London to the Professor’s house, Susan tries to do what their mother would have done in taking care of her siblings. She reminds Edmund to go to bed, breaks up arguments, and ensures that her siblings wear coats when they leave the wardrobe for the snowy Narnian world. Susan cares about meeting social expectations and being polite. When she realizes that Mr. Beaver wants to be complimented on his dam, she promptly does so. Susan’s concern about being socially acceptable means that she does not accompany the Narnian armies during her reign. Corin describes her as being “more like an ordinary grown-up lady” than her INFP sister, Lucy, who regularly rides to the wars alongside their brothers. Ultimately, Susan’s concerns about meeting social expectations override her memories of Narnia. She ends up caring more about society perceiving her as an attractive, well-adjusted young woman than she does about living in this world with a Narnian perspective, since she knows that she cannot physically return to Narnia. As a result, she is not party to her siblings’ plan to save Narnia, and she does not arrive in the new Narnia with them. (Whether their deaths make her relive her memories of Narnia and bring about a change in her attitude is a question that the books do not answer.)
Auxiliary Te: Susan uses a very practical logic. Before she discovers for herself that Narnia is real, she fears that Lucy might be going insane. When Professor Kirke questions that conclusion, she uses reason to try to convince him that Lucy’s story cannot be real. She worries when she sees Aslan about to restore a stone giant to life, thinking of the practical ramifications of doing so. Usually, the rationality of her approach to life helps her to take care of others. Sometimes, however, her logical approach becomes problematic. When Lucy sees Aslan but Susan cannot, Susan refuses to believe Lucy. She thinks that Lucy must be imagining things and objects rather rudely to following her younger sister.
Tertiary Fi: Susan has very strong principles. Susan firmly believes that kindness is an important trait, and others see it in her to the extent that she is called “Queen Susan the Gentle” during her reign. Unnecessary violence is abhorrent to her: she fails to shoot an attacking bear because she fears that it might be a Talking Beast and does not want to commit murder. (Susan is prepared to do what is necessary to defend her siblings, however, which is why she drew her bow in the first place.) Susan understands her feelings and sometimes shows them when she is emotionally overwhelmed, but she is not equally perceptive of others’ emotions. As a result, she sometimes misunderstands her siblings.
Inferior Ne: Susan usually does not come up with entirely new ideas, instead relying on past experience to generate possibilities for action. Her Ne does allow her to accept new experiences when they come to her, however, even if the experiences are unusual. When she realizes that the wardrobe has opened into a wood, she does not question the reality of the experience and does her best to adapt herself to it. She also enjoys accompanying Aslan on his romp through Miraz’s Narnia, watching as the stuffy society of Miraz’s rule–despite its many similarities to life in England–is liberated. Unfortunately, her Ne function proves too weak to help her adapt herself to life as a Friend of Narnia once she is permanently confined to our world.