Jane Eyre: ISFP

Guest Post by Kerrissa

Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë


Fi: When Jane knows that if she stays as a mistress to Rochester he’d eventually abandon her, she doesn’t use that information to convince him to let her go, but: ‘did not give utterance to this conviction: it was enough to feel it.’ When St John tells her it’s right to urge suitable people to be missionaries, she responds with, “If they are really qualified for the task, will not their own hearts be the first to inform them of it?” She places a strong emphasis on how she feels about a decision to choose her path, such as when St John urges her to join him as a missionary, she says, “Nothing speaks or stirs in me while you talk.” She then asks for time alone to figure out what she will do about his proposal. She asks herself, ‘…can I let him… go through the wedding ceremony… and know that the spirit was quite absent?’ and answers, ‘No: such a martyrdom would be monstrous. I will never undergo it.’ When he asks her again to marry him, she responds inside, ‘…my sense, such as it was, directed me only to the fact that we did not love each other as man and wife should: and therefore it inferred we ought not to marry.’ She frequently dwells, a paragraph or more, on how she felt at a particular moment.

Se: While young, Jane and her friends would often wander far in the woods, occasionally losing their way. Jane went to see Helen while she was sick, despite being warned away. As soon as Miss Temple, her favorite teacher at Lowood, left, Jane “remembered that the real world was wide, and the a varied field of hopes and fears, of sensations and excitements, awaited those who had courage to go forth into its expanse, to seek real knowledge of life amidst its perils.” She “tired of the routine of eight years in one afternoon.” Jane so desired a change that the next day, she wrote and submitted her advertisement. When faced with a crisis (Rochester’s bed set on fire; Richard Mason bit by Bertha) she acts on it, not speculating about it until after the fact, if at all. While waiting for Rochester to come back after putting out the fire, she dwells how cold it is, how tired she is: her physical sensations rather than the strange events. Jane enjoys walking to and from the various towns. She doesn’t hold expectations of people before meeting them, seeing them at face value the first time. When she leaves Thornfield, she does so impulsively, with no plan or place to go.


Ni: Jane recognizes that if she stays as a mistress for Rochester, he’d eventually come to regard her like he does his past mistresses. She knows it’d be different if she marries him. She enjoys Rochester’s humor and can respond with her own once she’s clued in on its direction (“You were waiting for your people when you sat on that stile?” “For whom, sir?” “For the men in green…” “[They] all forsook England a hundred years ago.”) When St John asks her to go to India, she sees one road ahead of her should she go with him (“By straining to satisfy St John till my sinews ache, I shall satisfy him… He will never love me; but he shall approve me…”). She intuitively puts together the pieces of her connection with the Rivers. She tries to look beyond surfaces; when she arrives at Thornfield, she tries to get an idea of Rochester’s character from Mrs Fairfax, not satisfied with ‘gentleman’ or ‘landed proprietor.’


Te: Jane can be rather blunt when surprised (“Do you think me handsome?” “No sir.”). When she decides not to marry Rochester or St John, she says so clearly and firmly. She throws herself into her schoolwork, learning languages and other subjects quickly and well. When she rejoins Rochester, she states her intentions of remaining with him so clearly that she momentarily wonders if she ‘had too rashly overleaped conventionalities…’

Author’s Notes: I only ever see Jane seriously typed as an INFJ/P. She’s definitely not an Ni dominant, or she would have recognized that something, anything, was off with Rochester’s situation before it was told to her on her wedding day. Also, she doesn’t use Fe- her viewpoints and morals are never swayed by what society or the people around her expect, and she never seeks advice for acting in situations she’s never been in before.

INFP is closer, but I don’t see any Ne in her: she’s very straightforward and… literal in her perception of events, not looking beyond or theorizing about what’s there. I could give examples, but I think that’s fairly obvious to readers. She doesn’t come up with many plans for the future, she sees one and acts on it immediately, such as leaving Lowood as a governess. Also, I see no lower Si. She rarely or never refers on her past for advice about a present situation, and makes no effort to connect with anyone from it when she’s in trouble, instead relying on strangers.



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