Little Dorrit: Arthur Clennam [ESFJ 2w1]

Functional Order: Fe-Si-Ne-Ti

Judging Functional Axis:

Extroverted Feeling (Fe) / Introverted Thinking (Ti)

Arthur comes all the way home from abroad to carry out his father’s dying instructions, and allows his preoccupation with doing that to overcome his entire life. He feels certain he “owes” the Dorrit family something after his suspicions are aroused about his father’s dying words (“Make it right”) and his mother’s unusual behavior (why has a nasty, mean old woman taken mercy on Little Dorrit if not out of guilt?). Arthur is always being cast about by catering to others’ needs and feelings—he has to fulfill them, even though they have nothing to do with him personally (he even goes so far as to pay off Amy’s brother’s debts). He’s talked into “speaking well of” various people to other people, even though he worries it is “not my place.” His inferior Ti shows in how poor he is at analyzing situations unless people flat out tell him the truth – he doesn’t realize Amy’s infatuation with him, until he’s slapped across the face with it, and only then does he realize he has loved her all along.

Perceiving Functional Axis:

Introverted Sensing (Si) / Extroverted Intuition (Ne)

His suspicions about his mother come from his own upbringing in her household – he has never known her to be kind, so to see her being nice to Amy arouses his hunch that “something is up.” He methodically gathers details and has an intrinsic trust in “what works for others will work for us.” When Merdle becomes “quite the thing,” and others report good incomes from their investment, he just knows this will work for his partner and himself. So he rushes to invest. But all the time, lower Ne nags him with nonspecific hunches. He knows something is wrong with the Frenchman. And with Miss Wade. And with the Dorrits. But what is it? He delegates other people to find out, only making halfhearted guesses and failing to put the connections together himself. He’s so busy with ideas, he fails to notice Amy’s particular fondness for him.

Enneagram: 2w1 self-preservation

He is often sucked into situations where he is “needed,” and is more than willing to accommodate others in a variety of ways – when they ask him to speak to Amy about living for herself and choosing a nice boy to marry, he does it in spite of his reservations (and feeling it is not his “place”). He leaves small gifts for Mr. Dorrit. He spends time and financial resources trying to right his father’s wrongs… and he tries, desperately, to earn his mother’s approval by helping her, but it never works. Arthur is starved for love. He goes along with what others want out of a focus on their emotions, even if it makes him somewhat unhappy (seeing Peg marry another man). He’s busy thinking of his reputation and has a social focus and awareness of helping others, but also needs time alone to fulfill his own needs (which always come second to what others want). His 1 wing wants to do the right thing and takes responsibility when things go wrong.