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Thread: Typing fictional characters

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    meatburger's Avatar
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    Default Typing fictional characters

    Does anyone else ever think thats its probable that most writers do not understand people enough to actually make a fictional character fit well into a type. I would guess a lot of fictional characters are just a jumble of types.

    I suppose if the writer is basing the characters on real life people(which is likely) then the characters would probablly be well balanced.

    I could be very wrong though. Its definately fun to type fictional characters and you can always decide upon which type they are "most like"

    real people are probablly a mixture of bits and peices of different types anyhow so maybe its irrelevant.

    What do you think? I have a pretty bad cold so cant think straight. Bear that in mind
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    I think that people who don't even know anything about types have in their minds generalized ideas that different types of people exist and that some types are similar and can be grouped together. So when a writer begins a story they might decide that they want the protagonist to be "this" sort of person etc. They end up making characters of different types because its observable in every day life.
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    meatburger's Avatar
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    That made a lot of sense fellow burger. You logically described what my jumble of thoughts was trying to arrive at

    bravo
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    Ah, well we burgers just understand eachother
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    Oy. I think we should lock arms and dance in a shower of falling lettuce, meat, onion and tomato sauce.

    I suppose what often makes fictional characters so amazing is their ability to transcend what normal people can do.

    For any Lurkers, what type is James Bond?
    He seems to have lots of Charm & Incredible Practicality / Worldliness
    Plus he seems very able to get laid at will. Hmm ESTp, ESFp? I dont know..

    I think Indiana Jones seems quite ISTp to me, in fact my friend often looks like Harrison Ford. Another ISTp i think could be the pilot guy in flight of the pheonix(i watched it last night)
    ENFp (Unsure of Subtype)

    "And the day came when the risk it took to remain closed in a bud became more painful than the risk it took to blossom." - Anaļs Nin

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    I disagree.

    I think that in many, even most, cases it makes little sense to type fictional characters -- I think authors, consciously or unconsciously, create characters out of composites of real people they know, including themselves, involving real episodes, but without any great consideration about whether it would make sense psychologically for the same individual to combine those characteristics/episodes. So I think fictional characters, far more often than real people, tend to be mixtures of types.

    There are authors, though, who do worry about creating a consistent character and then writing situations for them, and in their cases a type is visible.

    So some fictional characters can be typed, others can't.
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    I think that it's probably pointless... but not any more so than typing politicians, celebritities, dead people, or perhaps even anyone else you know.

    Let's take my thread about the characters from Psych for instance. There *are* a lot of ENTp things about the guy... I just think that there are more ESFp things. And what about Johnny from The Dead Zone? INFj? INTp? Who knows! He was in a coma and woke up not only with some psychic gift that makes him a sought after public figure, but also to find that the woman he was about to marry married someone and his son thinks that other guy is his dad. I think being tormented by visions and the public could make anyone seem a bit INTpish... seeing all of these horrible tragedies that only he can prevent could make him seem a bit INFjish. And before the accident he was a cheerful and outgoing science teacher who was great at what he did. There's no way to type a man like that. I love that show by the way. Peter says he likes it because the actor who plays Johnny (the geeky kid from the breakfast club) doesn't act... he just reads his lines and plays himself in the show, and his inflections and mannerisms are funny. (Peter's got this thing about mimmicry, so I'm always hearing impersinations of famous people or characters... most of the time very funny... heh the new one is Rocky. It's hilarious. What an awesome character.)

    So yeah... even if the writers are good enough to keep their character "in character" enough to have a type, often the situatios they're in make it impossible to tell what that type would be.
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    This may be random but...

    The author of Harry Potter (JK Rowling who is INTp) stated that she based the character Hermione Granger off of herself.
    I think I could definitly see that character as INTp.

    Does anyone read these books? I think some of the characters have pertty clear personalities (execpt maybe harry potter who I think is INFp)
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    I actually think that in certain cases, it makes a lot of sense to type fictional characters, because sometimes authors think along the same wavelength as typology concepts.

    An author may have an intuition about personality and what it represents. That intuition may tend to get expressed in a somewhat exaggerated way that serves as a symbol for type-related concepts.

    So, often, works of fiction are artful representations of the same sort of things one learns about in studying Jung-based typology. Understanding the psychological theory that was in the mind of the author (even if the author was unaware of any special terminology) can help one understand a work of fiction and even predict what happens later on in a book.

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    it is sad that people in general are small enough to be capturable in both literature and typology.

    Quote Originally Posted by meatburger
    That made a lot of sense fellow burger.
    that however was awesome.

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