MBTI Type: INFP
INFPs need a lot of alone time in which to center themselves, and Marcel, while being excited about the idea of returning to his community, is something of a loner who doesn’t want to participate fully in case it feels overwhelming to him (as a 9). He also talks almost constantly, but is often talking about what he sees in his environment—stating the obvious (“I wear shoes,” “This is my breadroom… I sleep in it, but I sleep on bread, so that’s why I call it that”). He’s extremely literal in the way that young IFPs tend to be, but also idealistic and hopeful. He becomes interested in the internet, and then sees it as a place where maybe people could help him find his family. Because his life is so small, he thinks that the outside world can’t be that big, and if he just went up to a high place (like the mantel in the living room), he could look down on everything and pick out the car that took away his family. Marcel is somewhat horrified to be taken outside and shown that the world is enormous—it disheartens him and burns out a bit of his idealism, and he lapses into low sensory behaviors like being fearful of change, not wanting change, and wanting things to stay the same. Because he lost his family, he thinks change is bad—and he’s afraid he’s going to lose his Nana. When the chance comes along to perhaps find his family by doing a 60 Minutes interview, Marcel insists the answer is no and considers no other options, because he’s afraid that Nana is too sick for all that excitement. This shows his dominant Fi, because once he’s made up his mind, nothing changes it except Nana pretending to get better and begging him to do it (“if you want me to be happy, do the interview!”). Marcel often talks around his feelings by focusing on the fact, rather than saying how things made him feel—he talks worriedly about how Nana isn’t doing well, and what might have happened to her, but never about how it’s affecting him emotionally, even though it’s clearly upsetting to him. IFPs tend to keep their feelings deep inside and not share anything but the circumstances that caused them (the facts of the situation as opposed to their feelings). Eventually, Marcel chooses to take a chance on finding his family by opening himself up to more adventures, but he also relies mostly on his knowledge of what happened before, to help him find them (hearing an argument from the humans would send them all into the sock drawer!).
Enneagram: 9w8 so/sp
“We need peace and quiet, Nana,” Marcel tells his Nan at one point in the story. He doesn’t want disruptions or risks that could make him anxious, and the loss of his family makes him fear a similar kind of abandonment and change. Marcel likes to seem calm and collected at all times, but can also dip into concern for other people and their welfare (his Nan, because she’s the only other shell in his life). He shows 6ish anxiety and doubt under stress, but his instincts are always from his gut – at one point, he tells someone that they don’t have to try and convince him, because he’s already decided and the answer is no. No to disruptions, no to change, no to risk of any kind! He becomes upset when people are coming to the house to take selfies, because it creates chaos, and ends the story by admitting that he often goes away from his community down into the basement to sit alone by the open window and let the breeze blow across his shell, because it feels nice, sounds nice, and reminds him that he is connected to everyone without having to be in the middle of everything. He’s quite firm on his boundaries and assertive in what he wants, even pushing others at times to take him places. He’s clearly a social dominant, in that the vast amount of his focus goes to his existing relationships, to the shell community he has lost, and in using other people to find his family. He is confused and even upset when humans don’t seem to want to help him locate his loved ones, because what else would they be for, but to work together to make something happen?