Functional Order: Si-Te-Fi-Ne
Mr. Knightley is practical and down to earth, in contrast with Emma’s imaginative idealism when dealing with the topic of matchmaking. He is quick to point out the detail-driven flaws in all of her plans, from the unlikelihood of Mr. Elton marrying beneath his station to a penniless Harriet Smith, to the social circles in which they all revolve and must keep to, to maintain a balance. He is steadfast, responsible to his tenants, comfortable with sameness, and both aware of, and able to work inside, social constraints to get things done. He, unlike Emma, sees how reality works. He also doesn’t like gatherings that force him outside his comfort zone (”I just want to stay here, where it’s cozy”). Though not a bastion of ideas himself, Mr. Knightley is quite aware of the undercurrent of each conversation he has with Emma, its wider implications, and often is aware of what is actually going on, where Emma remains ignorant; he senses Mr. Elton’s attraction to Emma long before Emma realizes it, he knows that she “wrote” Harriet’s letter to Mr. Martin, and he usually picks up on her matchmaking schemes with little effort. His concern for the damage she may do (generating unexpected problems that can’t easily be solved) makes him critical of her meddling (inferior Ne). Every argument he makes with Emma has rationality behind it. She doesn’t understand social classes, and he doesn’t like her tampering with people’s lives. Emma asserts opinions; Knightley corrects her either with logic or sound arguments. He isn’t above harsh criticism at times, and annoyance with her “irrational” pursuits (“Upon my word, Emma… better to be without sense than misapply it as you do!”). His arguments for Harriet marrying an “intelligent, respected farmer” are all rationality based (she’s within the same social class, it might even be a step up for her, and the man is smart and can provide a good living for her). When presented with problems, he chooses the quickest method of resolution (when Emma says she cannot abandon her father, Knightley simply suggests moving into the house with them). He is in many ways, a voice of moral conscience. Despite disagreeing with Emma’s meddling tendencies, he doesn’t try to stop her or enforce his own morals on her. The only time he directly interferes is with Miss Bates, when he lectures her on how her behavior toward the woman will guide others to similar treatment. Even though he hates dancing, and doesn’t hesitate to share his feelings on any given topic (often, in the form of gentle reprimands), Mr. Knightley is so appalled by Mr. Elton’s behavior at the ball, and filled with such compassion for Harriet, that he invites her to dance with him. Though somewhat confident of his feelings about Emma, after her behavior causes him reason for concern, he goes to London to “get away” and process his emotions.
Enneagram: 1w2 so/sp
If Emma is bound on improving Harriet’s social station, Mr. Knightley intends to improve Emma! He “scolds and lectures” her in an attempt to improve her, cease her meddling, and make her rational, and feels impressed that she’s able to bear it. He does not like her meddling, so he tries to temper her desire to help with logical and critical advice… perhaps not fully realizing that he’s doing the exact same thing, his target is just more specific! He lives a prominent life of good behavior, to set an example. He always does the right thing, even when it costs him— e does not enjoy shaming Emma off for insulting Miss Bates at the picnic, but it improves her a good deal. His doubts about whether she’s a good person or not almost make him reluctant to propose to her. While he finds great fault with Emma, he still forgives her mistakes, able to see and understand her greater desire to help, and admiring her path toward self-growth (his 2 wing’s desire toward forgiveness). His 2 also shows love for others in acts of kindness and by doing things for them (offering them advice, saving Harriet at the ball, etc).