It’s a Wonderful Life: George Bailey [ENFP 8w7]

Functional Order: Ne-Fi-Te-Si

Perceiving Functional Axis:

Extroverted Intuition (Ne) / Introverted Sensing (Si)

It takes George about fifteen seconds to see through Mr. Potter’s plan when he’s offered a highly paid job and to realize this is a scheme to hire him on a temporary basis, then dump him, having taken over the Building & Loan and killed the competition. George’s strength (and sometimes, to his disappointment, his curse) is in seeing the big picture and the implications of things, instantly. The minute his brother steps off the train with his new wife, George knows his desire to travel abroad and be free of obligations is at an end. He sees Mary as an impediment to his freedom, but stays out of obligation. His inferior Si shows both in how slow he is to realize the major differences once he’s “no longer been born” (assuming everything is the same, not noticing how Nick’s looks different, and finding himself extremely displaced to discover everything has changed all at once) and how resentful he is of a Si-based life (staying in one place, having a large family, and lots of detail-driven responsibilities by running the Building & Loan). The film ends with him coming to terms with his inferior Si, and realizing his desire to do “big and great things” has been fulfilled by a “simple” life of family and friends.

Judging Functional Axis:

Introverted Feeling (Fi) / Extroverted Thinking (Te)

George has such a strong moral character, he stays in Bedford Falls to run his father’s business simply because he hates Potter and all he stands for – corruption, greed, and the need to control others. He chooses what he wants and does not want to do, and is resistant to others attempting to push him into things (he’s downright angry when his mother pushes him to go see Mary, because she’s telling him something he already wanted to do, but he resents doing it, because she told him to). George is in a constant internal struggle between his compassion and goodness, in taking care of everyone in his life, and his desperate desire to do what HE wants to do, which is to travel, see the world, have adventures, and do interesting things. His lower Te comes out in his extreme bluntness and lack of tact whenever he’s angry or stressed, as well as his ability to handle the financial situations his job throws at him.

Enneagram: 8w7 social

George has a fierce need to assert himself and protect others even as a young child — he’s willing to take a beating rather than obey his boss, and deliver lethal pills. He stands up to Mr. Potter when he calls George’s father bad names and insults him, and tells his father not to let him talk to you like that! An angry man most of the time, George asserts that he doesn’t want to run the building and loan — but as soon as he sees “that grasping tyrant, Mr. Potter” intends to sink his teeth into it, he throws away his desire to travel just to stay home and protect the townspeople from Potter. Each time he meets Potter, he winds up shouting at him. He also fiercely shakes his weak uncle, and informs him that HE will not be going to jail when the police find the money missing from the safe. George can be blunt and argumentative all the time. He enjoys having some control over Mary and teasing her, in a way she doesn’t like. He can be extremely blunt. At his worst, George falls into an apathetic 5 disintegration. He becomes cynical and callous, wanting never to have lived. It takes an angel’s intervention to make him see sense and want his life back — because he’s able to see the powerful influence he had on Bedford Falls by being a social 8 and standing up against injustice. His 7 wing has a long list of things he wants to do, places he needs to see, travels he wants to take. His desired choice of lifestyle was with no commitments and to just go wherever the wind blows. His choice when faced with a disaster is to run away, and to even contemplate suicide as a way to end it all and financially support his family (“George, you’re worth more dead than alive,” as Potter says).