Functional Order: Fi-Ne-Si-Te
Judging Functional Axis:
Introverted Feeling (Fi) / Extroverted Thinking (Te)
Though desperate to connect to others, Arthur does not know how – he presents himself as strange, disconnected, and even creepy to other people with no ability to tell when he’s making them uncomfortable. He craves admiration and fame but does not know how to get it, and hinges his entire identity on pleasing his mother through his success (she told him to make people laugh). He focuses more on how others treat him and each other, than anything else (wanting others to be “kind”) and snaps when his childhood icon, the man he sees as his “father” (a great talk show host and comedian) abuses, mocks, and ridicules him. Arthur represses his anger, but eventually lets it out – in opportunistic acts of violence. He feels most comfortable with himself, to the extent of his nervous tick of laughter ceasing altogether, when allowed to be his “true” self – the Joker (his laughter at the climax is no longer nervous, but sounds different; he’s in control of it at last). When asked if he wears clown make up to show “solidarity” with the masses, his Fi recoils – no, he is doing it for himself, for the audience, and not to “make a statement.” This is who HE wants to be. He shows almost no Te, except in the pursuit of being a stand-up comic (he keeps a notebook of jokes which he obsessively studies, but is actually full of his own dark, often morbid thoughts).
Perceiving Functional Axis:
Extroverted Intuition (Ne) / Introverted Sensing (Si)
Though Arthur suffers from delusions as part of his personality disorder, he also spends an inordinate amount of time fantasizing about a more perfect world. He latched onto the idea his mother gave him about being a funny boy, and decided to become a comedian, but has no sense of his impact on the audience, no ability to tell jokes or connect to anyone, and an unrealistic set of expectations about the major impact he is going to have on Gotham. He dreams about the day his favorite talk show host invites him onto the show and celebrates his uniqueness. Arthur somewhat too easily falls for other people’s ideas, such as when he believes his mother’s delusion (or is it?) about Thomas Wayne being his father and hurries out to meet him… thinking they can connect and he will have a father at last. In his eventual unraveling, Arthur has finally given up on his idealism – his desire that people be “nice” to each other. It disappoints him to have faith in better things, and to be beaten up with his own spinning sign, mocked for his poor standup routines, and treated unfairly by coworkers. His Si is stagnated in the unchanging nature of his life – the humdrum of everyday living, the care of his mother, and also provides him with subjective interpretations of his own experiences. He has so little faith in his ability to tell jokes, he takes his notebook with him on stage, in case he forgets the punch line. For the most part, even after his life has changed (his murders) he continues to live the same life, out of the same apartment.
Enneagram: 6w7 so/sp
Arthur has the mentality of a victim and can be paranoid, insecure, and seeking of authority figures. He idolizes a comedian and then kills him after being humiliated by him. He wants to be famous, seen, and admired, but his super ego will not allow him to do anything other than be responsible, take care of his mother, and attempt to hold down a job. Arthur is seeking acceptance in the outer world, and wants to be funny and impacting but his own mental illness gets in his way. He feels isolated, misunderstood, and abandoned, but fights hard against these things. He wants to be accepted, loved, and included, to have a girlfriend and a normal life. Arthur leans into 7ish optimism and idealism about his own capabilities and the goodness in the world, but when he falls, he falls hard — he can no longer see the goodness in people and becomes a destructive chaotic force in his environment.