Function Order: Fi-Ne-Si-Te
“I’m beginning to think you may have planned the whole exercise.”– Madame de Toruvel
Madame de Tourvel is a novelty in French society—in a world of immoral behavior full of married couples who routinely cheat on each other (and whom society accepts for doing it), she has chosen to buck social standards and remain faithful to her husband, out of her religious beliefs and her desire to remain true to what she believes to be right. Her strong sense of personal moral integrity draws Valmont to her. He sees her as a virtuous idealist, and wants to destroy her – his greatest ambition is to seduce her away from her beliefs, to make her sleep with him out of lust while still holding to her high personal standards. Madame de Tourvel refuses to be morally compromised. She resists his attempts, for a long time, to appeal to her and seduce her, but begins to fall in love with him, out of a desire to believe in his ability to change and his inner goodness. She keeps most of her anguish inside herself, and toward the end, after he breaks her heart, she retreats to a nunnery to die in anguish. She is naïve and wants to believe the best of others, but also is right in assessing him of having a dubious character. She quickly figures out that he used his good deeds in the village as an act to get on her best side. She often sees through his facades, but he is able to convince her through words that she has made a misjudgment—causing her to doubt her initial conclusion almost immediately and see his point of view. Madame de Tourvel figures out fairly early on that his intention is to seduce her – but his tactics are far more evil than she could ever imagine, so his deliberate manipulations of situations, twisting them around to make him out to be heroic and to constantly challenge her doubts about him, start to shift her beliefs. She can see two arguments about him, and her idealism and optimism wins out. She is hesitant about changing her life too much, or bucking convention, but starts to forget his dreadful reputation as a libertine in favor of the “new” Valmont. Her inferior Te shows in how she begins to accept his actions as “proof” of a changed heart, and in her decisiveness when she chooses to push him away or leave him
Enneagram: 9w1 so/sx
Madame de Tourvel is idealistic and naïve, sweet-tempered, and good-natured, and this makes her easy prey for Valmont. She doesn’t want to be too harsh with him and instead appeals to his better nature, asking him to please leave her alone rather than taking direct action. When he calls her rude, she forces herself to stay and talk to him, agrees to take walks in the garden, and remain ‘friends’ even though it’s against her better judgment. The more she is around him, the more he rubs off on her and she starts to merge into his feelings for her, false though they are. She becomes attached to him, and longs for him, but also is fighting her own better nature. Valmont realizes that she would easily ‘surrender’ to him at one point, but restrains himself out of pity for her. Her 1 wing believes in virtue and goodness, does not want to do the wrong or inappropriate thing, flees from temptation at times, and feels terrible when her lover breaks her heart, because she has compromised herself.