The Man Who Invented Christmas: Charles Dickens [ENFP 3w2]

Functional Order: Ne-Fi-Te-Si

Perceiving Functional Axis:

Extroverted Intuition (Ne) / Introverted Sensing (Si)

Charles Dickens has made a living off his eccentric and imaginative stories, and is skilled at weaving different minor details together to create an entire whole; he allows his characters to come to life and dictate the direction of their stories, collecting small thoughts from all kinds of places (random snippets of conversations, images, the ghost story his Irish maid tells the children, etc) and re-imagining them into a Christmas story written under pressure, in six weeks! He opens the film in an inferior Si rut, creatively drained and terrified he will never have another good idea, and that he won’t be able to write anything ever again if he doesn’t finish this book; he underestimates the amount of work involved in putting out a Christmas book before the holidays, but still pulls it off due to his ability to write under pressure.

Judging Functional Axis:

Introverted Feeling (Fi) / Extroverted Thinking (Te)

He is deeply bitter about his childhood, and his father’s rash spending habits causing him to experience misery in a blacking factory; Charles never talks about this, except to tell his father to get out. He demands utter privacy when writing, and becomes so absorbed in his own little literary world that other people go unnoticed in his mad frenzy of activity; he can be quite good at accomplishing things, setting personal deadlines, illustrating what he wants to others, negotiating contracts, and ensuring his ‘vision’ for his book happens exactly as he wants it; the down side of his Te is he can be rude, dismissive, and blunt under stress or when others interrupt his writing; he also struggles to decide whether a man can truly ‘change’ after being ‘evil’ (the nuance of Scrooge’s behaviors does not occur to him; he simply considers loving money more than people to be wicked!).

Enneagram: 3w2 so/sp

Charles’ main drive is how he comes off to others; even as a child, when his father lost everything and he had to work in a boot blacking factory, he insisted on telling the other children that “my father is a gentlemen,” to establish his identity as something other than a penniless waif. He works hard to maintain appearances – buying a house for his family in the country (where he can hide his father away, out of shame for his behavior), buying a large London house, purchasing all the expensive adornments for it, and not liking it when Thackery brings up his bad reviews for his last several novels. He does not like to look bad or deal directly with money, so he has his agent do it for him. His entire focus on his “little Christmas book” is heavily based on appearance; he wants it “just so” and insists on having only the best illustrations. Much of his conflict with his father is over his resentment of how humiliated he was as a child to have a father in debtor’s prison. He favors generous, good-hearted people in many of his stories, and strives to be generous in his own life; his anger toward Mr. Scrooge is partly because he is a miser who enriches the life of no one else. Charles seeks to do good where he can, is a philanthropist, and believes the best thing in life is to do good for a stranger.