Gone With the Wind: Rhett Butler [ESTP 7w8]

Functional Order: Se-Ti-Fe-Ni

Perceiving Functional Axis:

Extroverted Sensing (Se) / Introverted Intuition (Ni)

Rhett has quite a reputation, both as a ladies’ man and an opportunist. When everyone else goes to war, rather than join up right off the bat, he makes a profit by ensuring that the black market is alive and well in the South. He makes (and loses) money quite easily, by seizing opportunities as they come to him, an ability that also causes him to make impulsive decisions (like going off to join a losing cause by enlisting, or asking Scarlett to marry him, since he knows he can’t have her physically any other way). After one encounter with Scarlett, Rhett knows the depths of her nature and what she is really like, but he continues to hold on to the dream that she can be different. He tries to provide a perfect home for her, lavishing gifts on her, in an attempt to realize his dream rather than face the reality of what she is truly like; it is only after his vision falls apart, and he sees a future for her with Ashley, that he turns his back on her… perhaps forever (inferior Ni).

Judging Functional Axis:

Introverted Thinking (Ti) / Extroverted Feeling (Fe)

He is quick thinking, able to work his way out of any situation and around any problem. Rhett has no illusions about the south or about Scarlett: he sees both of them for what they are, and describes them in brutal terms (she is a scoundrel and rotten, just like he is; and the South is romanticized and has nothing to offer except slaves, cotton, and ignorance). Rhett is a man of few words and often blunt, but rarely wrong about people. His charm allows him to circulate in good society despite his reputation, and also makes him sincere in most of his dealings with other people – except Scarlett, because he recognizes in her a fellow con man. Rhett is most open and emotional in Melanie’s presence, because he greatly admires and respects her as a human being. Only she can get through to him about his daughter’s death. His emotions lie just under the surface, often emerging both in genuine appeals (his desire to hear Scarlett say she loves him) and in temperamental brush-offs and violent fits of passion.

Enneagram: 7w8 self-preservation

Rhett is a voice of calm reason and logic when others want to go to war; he makes decisions based on how to avoid the unpleasantness of war and profit from it (sp7) until it bores into him and brings him to a place of shame. He has a reputation for avoiding commitment and not caring about public reputations (he went out on a coach ride and didn’t come back for hours with a young woman, whom he refused to marry afterward). He is playful and quick-witted, always with a humorous comeback. But, he seems to be running from things – trying to avoid thinking about Scarlett’s attachment to Ashley, taking his daughter away to London to distract himself from his crumbling marriage, etc. When Bonnie dies, Rhett falls to pieces and blames himself for all his mistakes – for everything he said or did that hurt Scarlett. He confides all his sins in Melanie (disintegrating to 1) and she manages to convince him to do the right thing and bury Bonnie. He also shows similar shame in profiting off the war while men die on the front lines, and by choosing to go to war even though it’s almost too late. His 8 wing makes him grounded and practical rather than idealistic or uncertain. His 8 is blunt but tactical, finding pleasant ways to assert himself but still showing anger.