Functional Order: Ni-Te-Fi-Se
When we first meet Bill, it’s in an Indian tent slathered in mud, in an attempt to ‘recover his lost shadow.’ This notion of having suffered a loss plagues him throughout the story, as he seeks to reestablish his sense of worth by finding ‘that which he has lost,’ which means his courage. Bill becomes determined to set out after Frank Griffin and his gang, because he gets it into his head that if he can join up with the marshal and the army, they can kill these villains once and for all—and then he will have done something to be proud of in his life. When an Indian and a dog join up with him, Bill has a sense that something is not right about them, but doesn’t believe they are ghosts until Roy tells him the pair of them drowned in a river on one of his travels. Everyone tries to talk Bill out of going after Frank, but he refuses to listen to them, fixated on the end result he wants to see happen, even though he has no real proof given past history that anyone will make it out of this encounter alive (Griffin and his gang have slaughtered everyone who has tried to stop them). Even when the marshal winds up murdered, Bill continues to chase after and track them. His inability to let go of his vision means he takes big risks, but is quite poor at adapting to his environment. Frank and his gang manage to sneak up on him when he stops to water his horse, and he can’t think fast enough to conceal his identity well enough to fool Frank. But Frank sees he has ‘lost his shadow’ (courage) and leaves him alone. He is practical, knowing he has nothing really to offer Alice Fletcher in terms of money or position in town (he has a reputation for laziness and cowardice), and wanting to show her his worth, and also do something to prove himself, before he goes blind. He can also be dry-witted and logical, reasoning that it’s bad to keep Roy around, since it will draw the outlaws to them, that you need not waste bullets killing dead men twice (when his sister goes around shooting them all a second time), and saying they should let the law handle things. The death of his wife in childbirth renders him ‘unable to love’ the child that killed her. He remains emotionally distant from his daughter, and allows her brother and his own sister to provide most of the love and attentiveness she needs, because he’s incapable of moving past his grief. He can be preoccupied with his own feelings, and emotionally awkward—distant from his kids. He decides to up and chase after the gang to prove himself, not thinking about their emotional loss if he’s killed in the process.
Enneagram: 6w5 so/sp
Bill prefers to handle things logically and methodically, and to hedge his bets… he has spent most of his life avoiding trouble and not taking risks, even attempting to handle troublemakers in town through peaceful conversations rather than direct punishment. But the closer he gets to losing his sight, the more and more he seems to slip into a 3 disintegration—he wants to improve his reputation and ‘prove himself’ to everyone, out of a desire to be somebody before he loses his eyesight, which makes him uncharacteristically reckless. He sets off after an outlaw gang with no way to protect himself, out of a stubborn issue of pride and continues to pursue them even after he hears about the marshal’s murder (who was supposed to help him, by bringing in the army to wipe them out). Bill wants to do things in a group more than alone, for a sense of protection—and he even takes relief in the ghost who accompanies him for part of the journey (without ever realizing it is a ghost), but he also has a 5 wing ‘lone wolf’ side to his personality. He trusts his own decisions and holds firm to them, but also avoids emotional attachments and feels at odds with other people.