Titanic: Ruth deWitt Bukater [ESFJ 3w2]

Functional Order: Fe-Si-Ne-Ti

Judging Functional Axis:

Extroverted Feeling (Fe) / Introverted Thinking (Ti)

Ruth adheres to what the social conventions of the time tell her is socially appropriate, and is eager to curtail her daughter’s Fi-driven behaviors by politely chastising her in public and reminding her of her own feelings on the matter (she tells Rose that she does not like her smoking and is a little offended when Rose defiantly refuses to put out her cigarette). She politely but firmly ostracizes Molly Brown from her social group by turning her companions against her, because Molly is ‘new money’ and Ruth does not see her as desirable company (Molly is too loud, boisterous, and rude, in her mind). She judges Jack for going against the grain and having the lifestyle of a traveling artist with no roots or sense of belonging, and politely draws attention to this at the dinner table by informing everyone he is traveling in steerage. When her daughter protests at having to marry someone she does not love to save the family from ruin, Ruth uses emotional manipulation on her (“do you want to see all our fine things sold at auction? to see me working as a seamstress? … We are women, we must do these things.”) In a strange show of detachment from reality, as the situation worsens on the Titanic, Ruth is more concerned with seating people according to class and utterly unrealistic about the boat sinking or that half the people on board are going to die. She willfully refuses to analyze the situation (inferior Ti).

Perceiving Functional Axis:

Introverted Sensing (Si) / Extroverted Intuition (Ne)

Ruth knows how the world works, and how to make her way in it; how you climb higher is through making an advantageous marriage, whether or not you love that person. She has a strong sense of social class and status, which objects to Jack’s “rootless existence,” and wants him to remain in his place (and find a career and work, as men are supposed to do). She pulls on her own former experiences to explain what is happening in the present, showing a total detachment from reality in the midst of disaster (sending her maid back to her room to turn on the heater, worrying the lifeboats won’t be seated according to class, acting as if nothing has happened). Ruth implies she married without love for financial security, and expects her daughter will do the same thing (“We’re women…” implication: it’s what we must do). Even though Cal shows signs of being a bully, Ruth refuses to examine him with an entirely critical eye, possibly writing off his behavior as being typical of an upper-class aristocrat in that he may change in time (Ne, seeking positive possibilities). She fails to see why so few lifeboats are important, or the repercussions of the disaster as it unfolds. Yet, she senses big trouble in Jack’s appearance in their lives, and, fearful of what damage it might do, “tries to squash the bug.”

Enneagram: 3w2 social

A desire to maintain her social standing and current high standard of life motivates all Ruth’s decisions, from pressuring her only daughter into a marriage she does not want to her underhanded tactics in trying to drive a wedge between her and Jack. She is fundamentally aware of her own high status and desperate to keep it, looking down on Jack for his lowborn life and also shunning Molly Brown, whose company she fears will make her seem more common, since she is new money. Ruth was able to put aside personal feelings to marry for status and security and expects Rose to do the same. She has a polite way of drawing attention to others’ low status, such as when she announced to the entire table that Jack is visiting them from Steerage this evening. Her 2 wing can be manipulative, and angry that Rose is not generous to her in return for her kindnesses. (She resents the fact that Rose chose lavender, which she detests, for the bridesmaid dresses.)