Functional Order: Si-Te-Fi-Ne
Valjean bases a lot of his expectations about life on his own subjective personal experiences, as he tells the bishop, life in prison has made him “hard” and taught him there is no goodness in the world. That’s why the bishop forgiving him makes such a radical difference in his life, because he knows he needs and deserves punishment for theft, and instead he has a second chance at life. But he carries the “cruelties” of his prison sentence into his interactions with Cosette, often warning her that life is hard and full of pain (her mother’s death, showing her the men in the prison line, etc). Since she has not shared his life, she does not understand it or share his beliefs. Once forced to hide in the convent as a gardener, he becomes used to it, and how safe it makes them, and feels reluctant to go outside – where untold threats loom, where Marius might take the girl he loves as a father away from her. He is practical and pragmatic, and enough of a good businessman with an eye for making money that he manages to amass a vast fortune in his bead factory. Once Javert appears in his town, he suspects it may be only a matter of time before the Inspector comes after him, so he takes a large chunk of his fortune out of the bank and buries it in the woods. When he goes to fetch Cosette, he pays them for the right to take her away and while he holds them in contempt and judges them harshly, he lets them get away with it. He can be brisk, blunt, and dismissive, kicking out Fantine because of her illegitimate child without hearing the full story, then feeling deep remorse when he later sees what has become of her due to his carelessness. Valjean can at times wallow in his own miseries, becoming lost in his own self-loathing, misery, and even careless with other people’s feelings as a result, such as when he just walks out of his daughter’s life out of fear of bringing her shame, and doesn’t realize the hurt he will inflict on her in the process. He’s afraid of the unforeseen and the consequences, but also tends to be short-sighted at times, and not pay much attention to reading what is going on between the lines (leading him to dismiss Fantine without hearing her side of the story).
Enneagram: 8w9 sp/so
Valjean shows us an 8’s “integration toward 2” but he often simply lapses back into his 8 reaction to things – using brute force, strength, and aggression to make his point and get what he wants, whether that is burning himself with an iron to prove to others they cannot hurt him, or half-strangling a man as he tosses him down the road, or admitting to Marius that he wanted to kill him when he realized he would take Cosette away from him. Early on in the story, he is self-centered, angry, and only concerned about himself, but he learns to care for Cosette and her mother also. Valjean becomes generous and sacrificial, risking his life to save Marius so he can marry Cosette (even though it means “losing” her), giving a poor family his own coat and money to pay the rent, rescuing Fantine off the street and providing for her until her death, and saving Javert’s life instead of killing him, despite knowing the inspector will never stop hunting him. His 9 wing wants to be peaceful, to find harmony with his loved ones, and is content with a quiet life.