Friday, 27 June 2014

ENFJ: The Giver

So the time has finally come, we have reached the last entry in this MBTI series. A lot of ground has been covered over the past fifteen entries, and a huge number of characters. I think it has been interesting applying MBTI to these particular series, and, personally, I think it has enabled me to look at some of the characters in new ways. In the future, I may review the decisions I have made, in terms of where I placed individual characters, and perhaps I will disagree with some of the choices, but for now, let us turn our attention to the final type: The Giver.

The primary quality of the Giver is, unsurprisingly, a compassionate, tolerant attitude to others, bestowing them with a high degree of altruism, sometimes a little too much. ENFJs do a lot for other people, occasionally at their own expense, and are often the kind of person you can depend on to be there when they are needed. Their compassion stems from an ability to understand other people and connect with them deeply on an emotional level. It is quite possible that the Giver is not quite aware of their natural ability, for it can come so readily, that an ENFJ might have never stopped to consider it. This natural ability with people bestows the Giver with heightened charisma and makes them well-suited for leadership positions, though it can mean that the self-confidence and esteem of the ENFJ can change greatly depending on present company. Like all those types who are rules by F rather than T, ENFJs can suffer from making what might be considered poor decisions from a logical point of view. Such is the price for such acute emotional intelligence. ENFJs are highly idealistic and this can lead to great sensitivity, especially when it comes to their inability to meet such lofty standards.

Possessing every quality on the list, Ellen is perhaps one of the most archetypical Givers. She is self-confident and charismatic, unafraid to treat Sam and Dean like a pair of misbehaving children, from the moment they meet. In spite of this confidence, Ellen has shown herself to be highly vulnerable, as well as demonstrating both emotional warmth and rage. Throughout the first few seasons, Ellen takes on a supporting role, serving as moral support for the Winchester brothers, support she reliably and consistently supplies. She gives the boys a lot of time and resources, even when she is angry with them, demonstrating her altruism. Furthermore, she highlights how too much altruism can result in a negative result for the Giver, for her willingness to go out of her way to help others ultimately results in her daughter's savage mauling by a Hellhound, which in turn leads to Ellen giving her own life to defeat the demons with a nail bomb. This is a prime example of how an emotionally drive character can occasionally make dire decisions, though that does not mean to suggest that her choice to give her own life to die with her daughter is ignoble. She is a naturally competent individual and, as highlighted when War takes over a small town, forcing Ellen to lead a group of civilians to battle "demons" she is also an able leader.

Eldest child of Lord Eddard Stark and Lady Catelyn Tully, King of the North and the Heir to Winterfell, Robb was set up to have so much promise in the novels and TV series, though, as we all know, that changed at the Red Wedding. Though he is only just "a man grown", Robb proves himself to be a great leader, able to win the majority of his confrontations with the military forces of Tywin Lannister, in spite of the latter's years of experience. Robb is inspiring, able to control, for the most part, the older Bannerman which serve as the generals in his army, demonstrating his understanding of people. He is reliable and idealistic, though we cannot attest to his self-confidence levels, for his perspective is not given in the books. However, his understanding of others is blinded by his feelings for the woman he marries (whose name will depend on if we're discussing the books or the series), which then leads to the Red Wedding which claims his life and the life of his mother. 

The poster-girl for the second instalment of the Mass Effect series, Miranda may not be the most obvious ENFJ when we first meet her, but by the end of the second game, and certainly throughout Mass Effect 3, Miranda becomes a paragon Giver. She is charismatic and self-confident to the point of arrogance, though she reveals herself to be riddled with self-doubt and weakness. Ultimately, she is able to face her demons and emerge a much more rounded individual. It is only once she has faced this demons that her altruism is revealed, and at first it is mainly directed towards her sister, only later becoming a more central part of her personality. She does understand people, though unlike most ENFJs this understanding is not the warm and emotional kind, but the cold and clinical kind, which leads to her being more manipulative than compassionate at the beginning of the second game. This is likely due to her past and the dark individuals who have influenced her. Finally, Miranda is a passionate and capable leader, who does possess an innate idealism, which, though it can cause her some problems, ultimately makes her deadly effective.

Snow White
Though I will not deny that Snow is an influential and great character, I will say that, at least at times, she serves as the most sickly kind of ENFJ, though she is a fairytale character, after all. Snow is charismatic and loved by her people due to her compassion and her willingness to strive, with a huge amount of effort, for the ideals that she has been instilled with. More often reliable than not, Snow suffers from the self-esteem issues which come from being such a selfless and emotionally open individual. She is an exceptional example of how emotionally driven characters can make risky decisions, for she is constantly almost dying for those she loves. 

Luisa Rey
Able to form emotional connections with others, even those whom she has not known for long, Luisa is a confident and able character, who seems to sweep everyone up into her story, marking her as a, perhaps non-standard, kind of leader. Her ability to understand people is not something she seems to be consciously aware of, but rather something that she uses by instinct, as is likely the case with many ENFJs. She has values and strives to uphold them, idealistic in true ENFJ style. She lacks the readiness of sensitivity that is often possessed by the Giver, though she is a compassionate and tolerant individual.

As a teacher and mother figure, Wynne is a typical Giver. Altruism is core to her personality and she even gives a lengthy lecture to the Warden, in which she reveals that making others happy is the primary means through which she achieves her own happiness. She expresses deep emotional warmth towards other characters and though she is not always  accepted by them. Nonetheless, she persists to mother her party mates, genuinely wishing to guide them in whatever they are endeavouring to do. Wynne is accepting of others, welcoming difference. Though she is weary of maleficarum and other kinds of disreputable types, she is often able to see past the category and meet the person on the inside. A powerful mage in her own right, Wynne is an inspiring influence and paragon of the magi within the game, demonstrating her willingness to devote herself to their betterment. She does suffer from crippling doubt, though she is admirable in her ability to keep it contained and instead focus on the positive, taking one step at a time towards achieving the task at hand.

So, there we have it. 16 entries covering each of the MBTI types and applying to a range of characters from six of my favourite series. I will continue to use MBTI in future entries, as I find the theory fascinating and definitely worth discussing and applying. There are more series to which I can apply this theory and new ways in which I intend to use it in discussion. If you're not a fan of MBTI, don't worry, I will be writing on some new topics, as I am aware that this series has taken quite a bit of time.

To those of you who have been following this series for a while, thank you for reading. I hope that you will stick around to see what else I'm going to be talking about. I'll be posting a new entry within the next week.

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