MBTI Type: INFP
Ashley is a man of contradictions; he holds all his feelings for Melanie inside him, so deep Scarlett doesn’t think they are “real” because she can’t see them. He never breaks down and tells her the truth of them, and his devastation, until Melanie is dead. Instead, he holds both women in his heart, in different places, and unfortunately strings Scarlett along in his unwillingness to be firm with her. Still, he does stand on his principles when it comes to having an affair with Scarlett (admitting that he would run away with her, but he can’t do that to Melanie) – but not when it comes to insisting they do not use prison labor. He tends to get lost in his feelings and forget about other people. Yet, he does show some objectivity – he isn’t offended when Rhett points out the logical problems of the South’s potential in winning the war. Ashley feels stifled working for a woman and desperately wants to start his own business, but he can never quite break away from her grip. Ashley loves his romantic, idealized South so much that when the world changes, he finds it hard to adapt. He confesses to Scarlett he’d rather live in his memories and thoughts of the past than accept the ugly present. He tends to have a poetic side, which draws Scarlett to him, because he seems “deep.” His code of honor, and his belief in the establishment of marriage, keeps him from running away with Scarlett, even though he has intense feelings for her. He idolizes Scarlett as an archetype of the perfect Southern woman – and struggles to see her objectively as a result (he and Melanie are either wrong about Scarlett / her intentions, or choosing to believe the best in her). He idolizes a South that never really existed.
Enneagram: 9w1 sx/so
Ashley has a habit of making things “okay” that are not okay – he does not want to offend Scarlett, so he gives into and gently rebuffs her romantic advancements, rather than telling her to leave him alone. His romantic desire to see things as better than they are allow him to consider her “beautiful” and “desirable” and even pure, against all evidence. He caves to her more than once, especially when Melanie takes her side, because he cannot “stand” to have both of them disagree with him. As a result, Ashley makes himself unhappy (in being forever tied financially to Scarlett, having her take care of him and his family instead of providing for them herself) and also wrecks Scarlett’s marriage, since she continues to hold out hope since he never is honest about his feelings. He numbs himself to all the unpleasant things he does not want to face, and refuses to deal with them until he can no longer ignore them. His 1 wing has moral objections to Scarlett’s business tactics, but his desire to keep the peace with her wins out in the end.