Riff doesn’t shy away from confrontations in the streets; he leads his gang in painting over the Puerto Rican street art and then is ready for a “rumble” with them when they object. Whenever a problem arises, his solution is to demand a fight where they can settle this with their fists. After being angry that Tony and Maria are an item, he sets up a fight with her brother and insists on going, despite Tony’s objections and requests for him to make peace. He doesn’t see this as unnecessary, but thinks strategically about how he needs to win. He assumes they will bring a gun, so he purchases one of his own, never realizing it’s going to lead to his own death. Riff doesn’t see why Tony feels so bad about having spent time in the joint for beating up a guy, since it’s irrational to get hung up on your morals like that. He wants to win the fight, even if it means breaking the rules he and Bernardo agreed on (fists, no knives). Riff also has an enormous emphasis on Fe; he rarely frames things in terms of himself, instead seeing the Jets as one large unit – he doesn’t object to Tony dropping out of the gang merely because he wants Tony there, but talks about how it will disappoint the boys. He rallies them together and gets them stirred up. It annoys him if not everyone is “on board” with what he wants to do, or how he feels about the Sharks. Riff has general thoughts about how he wants his future to play out, but nothing concrete; he is stunned to hear from an officer that in a few years, the turf he cares so much about won’t exist. He says it riles him up to see everything he cares most about changing.

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Riff tries really hard to present himself as a confident 8, but he gives himself away in how others-focused he is. He sees the Jets as his family and feels like he needs them, like they are a unit who works together for the common good, and it’s not something you grow out of. He needs/wants Tony to support him, and begs him to come to the dance, knowing it will lend him credibility with “the guys” and that they need to see Tony is still “with them.” He thinks in attachment type terms of bringing people together and protection in numbers. He is also constantly scheming and somewhat paranoid; he assumes even though they agreed on no knives for his fight with Bernardo that they will be armed, so he wants to buy a gun as well—just in case he needs to use it to threaten someone. Though always trying to come across as dominant, Riff reduces himself to begging Tony to come to the dance. His suspicious nature winds up getting him killed in a fight that never needed to take place. His 7 wing is bratty and confident, focused on having a good time, and likes to stir things up and keep them exciting. He sasses cops and always has a joke at the ready to lighten the mood and impress his friends.

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