MBTI Type: ENTJ
Carol in the book is a lot more distant, unemotional, and obscure, but the strong Fe of Cate Blanchett makes her more appetizing, warmer, and heartfelt as an ENTJ woman who has little awareness of her own emotional needs, much less anyone else’s. She plays the role given to her by the time period and her marriage to a wealthy man, but stagnates under its oppressive boredom. She attempts to take care of her daughter without truly knowing her or what she wants—a blind spot for inferior Fi users who expect a great deal from their children, but never really think that “time” spent with them is enough. She meets Therese because she is attempting to purchase her daughter a baby doll, but upon finding out that it isn’t available, she asks in desperation what Therese wanted at four years old—and buys that. This encompasses in a nutshell that she isn’t aware of who her daughter is, that she hasn’t paid attention to her needs, and has no strong emotional connection to her, even though she’s a loving mother. ETJs can substitute gifts for emotional vulnerability, and in a way, that’s also what she does with Therese by giving her an expensive camera and then taking her on a road trip. Carol never pushes herself on other people, but also struggles to respect or acknowledge their feelings. When she finds out that her husband has evidence to get her child taken away from her, because of her lesbianism (up until then, kept under the covers), she abruptly leaves Therese and goes back to him, in an attempt to live a “normal life.” She writes Therese a warm farewell letter, but does not stick around to say goodbye in person—as if she cannot face her or their feelings. Later, after she has come out more publically, she tries to make up with Therese at dinner—by being pleasant and inviting her to a party, and even admitting that she loves her… but again, she doesn’t show much awareness of the pain she caused Therese. Fi users find it hard to locate anyone’s feelings but their own, and that is the case with Carol. Middle-function wise, she doesn’t show much intuition, but she does show a great deal of tert-sensing in how bold she is in pursuing what she wants. Carol has had enough affairs that her husband is well aware of them; her last lover tells Therese that one day, Carol just wakes up and is no longer in love with someone, and abruptly moves on (a combination of her strong sexual instinct and her Se). Her solution to boredom at Christmas is to take a road trip, and she invites Therese along.
Enneagram: 3w2 sx/so
Carol gives herself away the minute she asks, “Isn’t talent something other people tell you that you have? And then you keep working at it?” That implies her sense of self is located outside herself—and the rest of her decisions support it. Carol feels a strong need to be with women, but married a man to maintain the illusion; she goes to a therapist to straighten her out as a lesbian even though it’s not what she wants, just to keep up appearances and avoid a messy divorce, and finally self-asserts with the lawyers and says she’ll give her husband custody of their child, but she needs to live the lifestyle she wants. She’s very good at being a socialite wife, but also finds it painful and boring, and when threatened, she becomes fearful and carries around a gun. 3w2s can be warm and generous, but also abdicate what they want in favor of what others need from them, and in this way, she makes the divorce about what her daughter needs and what they can give her as a couple. It takes her a long time to own what she wants, and not just go along with other people’s demands on her time.
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