Function Order: Fi-Se-Ni-Te
Gawain is not a healthy young man, in that he is primarily self-absorbed and preoccupied with his own feelings – the entire story revolves around his inability to realize that he needs to give back, rather than just ‘take’ all the time – it’s one of a lack of reciprocity in which he assumes he owes no one anything for what they give him – he does not owe the woman who loves him a marriage and security in exchange for her heart and body; he does not owe the knight who rescues him from dying alone in the woods his loyalty or the ability to reject his wife’s adulterous advances; even when he meets a ghost, he does not assume he should do something for her in return for his ‘wish’ – it takes the entire journey and his endless, foolish mistakes (such as not assuming he owes the boy who gave him directions more than a menial coin for his efforts – which gets him beaten and robbed) for Gawain to finally find the root of his moral conscience, which is to keep his word and not be a coward. He is primarily centered in the present as well; he does not question things nearly enough, but takes them at surface value – despite the Knight telling him that whatever stroke Gawain lands, he must repay in kind in twelvemonth, Gawain strikes his head from his shoulders, then wastes the twelve months in-between drinking and womanizing rather than doing anything of importance. He is shocked when King Arthur tells him it was no Christmas ‘game’ and sends him out on his quest to repay the debt, possibly with his life. His foresight is poor in that he trusts the boy he meets in the woods, then the knight he encounters at the castle; he goes on to sleep with the man’s wife, because he feels like it in the moment. His only flash of insight is when he sees what his life could be, while making the decisions of whether to surrender it to the Green Knight or not. Gawain is direct and ambitious; he sees the Knight’s presence at the Christmas celebrations as a way to make a name for himself, and accomplish something heroic, but he can also be abrasive when he’s angry and lash out at people (or at his fox companion, when the creature tells him something he does not wish to hear).
Enneagram: 9w1 sp/sx
Gawain seems to be torn between over-merging into other people, and going along with whatever they want him to do without question, and attempting to find his courage and nobility within himself. He wastes a lot of his life drinking and whoring, while wishing he could be a better person and more noble knight; he is often angry, but finds himself fearful under stress – such as when he sees his life pass before his eyes if he does not keep his promise to the Green Knight, and how it will all come to nothing. In that moment, he chooses to embrace the goodness that his 1 wing desires, and abandon his own sensual desires (to live, to reproduce, to attain glory, rather than do what is Just). Even though he owes the knight much who takes him into his home, heals his wounds, feeds him, and even frees his fox servant, he still sleeps with the man’s wife simply because she comes on to him – adapting to her desires for him. His sin is that he has never pursued anything meaningful for his life, until it came knocking at his door through the mechanisms of another (his mother).