Matilda: INTJ

Guest Post by E.J., INTJ

Matilda, Roald Dahl

Dominant Introverted Intuition (Ni): Most young children with parents like Matilda’s would accept their behavior as normal, as Matilda’s older brother does. Matilda, however, figures out that her father is being dishonest and correctly guesses that his behavior may get him in trouble. She also sees that her mother’s belief that women should be primarily interested in their looks has gotten her mother nowhere, and Matilda–not yet six years old–knows that she wants her life to be different. Matilda correctly intuits Miss Trunchbull’s past misdeeds and develops an out-of-the-box plan to deal with her. Matilda has an incredible ability to concentrate, which she applies both to her academic interests and in strategies she develops for daily life. Although Matilda is deeply unconventional, she understands the long-term value of blending into society. As a result, most adults overlook her more nefarious plots.

Auxiliary Extroverted Thinking (Te): Matilda’s speech is very direct and to the point. She can be diplomatic and careful in how she responds to adults, and she develops a good sense of when she should not speak, but her natural inclination is to say precisely what she means. When confronted with injustice, Matilda will develop a plan from the information she has gathered (Ni) and then take action (Te). She feels justified in pranking her parents because her tricks yield a practical result–her parents usually become more subdued for a few days and leave her alone. Matilda is interested in results, not revenge. Even with Miss Trunchbull, who at the least deserves a long prison sentence, Matilda focuses her tactics on achieving her goals. She does not consider involving the police because she knows that Miss Trunchbull could probably not be convicted of her more serious crimes. Matilda only tries to achieve the two goals she considers realistic–protecting her classmates and helping Miss Honey become emotionally and financially secure.

Tertiary Introverted Feeling (Fi): Matilda is exceptionally precocious, and she has a well-developed Fi function despite her young age. She remains unaffected by her parents’ warped morality, developing a strict personal code of behavior. Matilda is relatively unconcerned about her poor relationship with her parents. She knows that they will never accept her, and she refuses to accept their behavior as normal or appropriate. Matilda cares most about being true to herself and to her beliefs. Her friendships are with people who share her values (Lavender) or who seem to understand her (Miss Honey). Although Matilda is not a particularly emotional person, she is very aware of her own feelings and motivations. She does not usually focus on others’ feelings, but she reacts strongly if her sense of justice is being violated or if someone she cares about is being hurt.

Inferior Extroverted Sensing (Se): Matilda is deeply moved by beauty, both in books and in the real world. Part of her aversion to her parents is actually revulsion at their cheap aesthetic preferences. Matilda’s clear knowledge of what she wants for her life helps her to act spontaneously when necessary. At the end of the book, she is able to instantly jump into action when she realizes that her circumstances are about to change for the worse. As a result, Matilda creates a new and better life for herself.


One thought on “Matilda: INTJ

  1. I swore I remember you doing her before, but then remembered that piece was about childhood depression in INTJs and there was an inserted pic of Matilda, which made all the sense in the world.
    I’ve always related to this version of Matilda SUPER hard, and then finding out we’re both INTJs made feel even better about it. Book and musical Matilda are quite different, but her moral compass in still highly intact.

    Liked by 1 person

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