[INFJ] Is Jay Gatsby an INFJ?

Is Jay Gatsby an INFJ?

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This is a discussion on Is Jay Gatsby an INFJ? within the INFJ Forum - The Protectors forums, part of the NF's Temperament Forum- The Dreamers category; Ok guys, I studied The Great Gatsby and there were several elements of Gatsby's personality which just made me say ...

  1. #1
    Unknown Personality

    Is Jay Gatsby an INFJ?

    Ok guys, I studied The Great Gatsby and there were several elements of Gatsby's personality which just made me say "Wow he must be an INFJ" such as his idealism, his determination to keep pursuing a goal until he achieves it, and the schedule of his day. I was amazed at how stubborn he was in his refusal to believe that Daisy is anything less than perfection, his unassuming personality and generous nature. How much do you agree or disagree with me in my classification of his MBTI?
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  2. #2
    INFJ - The Protectors

    A dream of Blue Eyes

    Quote Originally Posted by stevie_marathon View Post
    Ok guys, I studied The Great Gatsby and there were several elements of Gatsby's personality which just made me say "Wow he must be an INFJ" such as his idealism, his determination to keep pursuing a goal until he achieves it, and the schedule of his day. I was amazed at how stubborn he was in his refusal to believe that Daisy is anything less than perfection, his unassuming personality and generous nature. How much do you agree or disagree with me in my classification of his MBTI?
    stevie_marathon,

    I am no expert on male INFJs. I did however read this book in high school. I have a question for yourself, or anyone who can answer this for me...I've had a dream, three times of the blue eyes in the sky staring at me. Also once of the 'wasteland'. If you can tell me what this means, it would be nice. The feeling was ominous in both dreams, not really a good feeling.

    I'll have to think more about the Gatsby character. I suppose because of the dreams. I cannot get those images out of my head. I hope I don't take you too off topic, I just wouldn't mind a little help with the imagery stuff. And I could not find the meaning online.

  3. #3
    INFP - The Idealists

    I think Nick is definitely an INFJ. Not only is he a writer (introverted intuition), he is quiet & observant, adaptive to different kinds of company, and keenly aware of social taboo and the discomfort of others (extroverted feeling). I have spent a great deal of time with an INFJ male, and I kept thinking throughout the movie how Nick is so clearly an INFJ. Other parallels to anecdotal INFJ qualities - He has this big idea of him being a bonds man. Even though it's not really a good fit for him, he thinks he can read his way to wealth. INFJs seem to believe that knowledge is they key to anything, and that they have the ability to read their way to solutions and happiness. Also, Nick is quite judgemental of everyone except Gatsby, whom he's placed on a pedestal as a hero of a self-made man propelled by his value of love and ability to learn his way into success. I've read some forums about how INFJs' idealism and J cause them to occasionally "axe" people who betray their values. Lastly, Nick also is reluctant to hang out with Myrtle's friends. He probably feels like this very SP crowd wouldn't understand him and he doesn't respect the lack of integrity of Tom's relationship with Myrtle.

    Gatsby could be an INFJ also, though I don't really feel it. I think he's an unhealthy ESTP acting in his shadow function, INFJ. But maybe it's the other way around.
    Blindfolded Miles, Omroberts and Marla_S thanked this post.

  4. #4
    INFJ - The Protectors

    Quote Originally Posted by stevie_marathon View Post
    Ok guys, I studied The Great Gatsby and there were several elements of Gatsby's personality which just made me say "Wow he must be an INFJ" such as his idealism, his determination to keep pursuing a goal until he achieves it, and the schedule of his day. I was amazed at how stubborn he was in his refusal to believe that Daisy is anything less than perfection, his unassuming personality and generous nature. How much do you agree or disagree with me in my classification of his MBTI?
    Gatsby strikes me more as an ESFJ because & I quote and highlight;

    - ESFJs are people persons - they love people.
    - they are warmly interested in others.
    - they use their Sensing and Judging characteristics to gather specific, detailed information about others, and turn this information into supportive judgments.
    - they want to like people, and have a special skill at bringing out the best in others.
    - they are extremely good at reading others, and understanding their point of view.
    - the ESFJ's strong desire to be liked and for everything to be pleasant makes them highly supportive of others.
    - people like to be around ESFJs, because the ESFJ has a special gift of invariably making people feel good about themselves.
    - take their responsibilities very seriously and is very dependable
    - value security and stability, and have a strong focus on the details of life
    - they see before others do what needs to be done, and do whatever it takes to make sure that it gets done.
    - they are hurt by indifference and don't understand unkindness.
    - they are very giving people, who get a lot of their personal satisfaction from the happiness of others.
    - they want to be appreciated for who they are, and what they give. They're very sensitive to others, and freely give practical care. - ESFJs are such caring individuals, that they sometimes have a hard time seeing or accepting a difficult truth about someone they care about.
    - they have a strong need to be liked, and to be in control.
    - they are extremely good at reading others, and often change their own manner to be more pleasing to whoever they're with at the moment.
    - they usually have very well-formed ideas about the way things should be, and are not shy about expressing these opinions.
    - all ESFJs have a natural tendency to want to control their environment. ESFJs should be careful about controlling people in their lives who do not wish to be controlled.
    - they're traditional, and prefer to do things in the established way, rather than venturing into unchartered territory.
    - ESFJs incorporate many of the traits that are associated with women in our society. However, male ESFJs will usually not appear feminine at all. On the contrary, ESFJs are typically quite conscious about gender roles and will be most comfortable playing a role that suits their gender in our society. Male ESFJs will be quite masculine (albeit sensitive when you get to know them), and female ESFJs will be very feminine

    ESFJ Relationships

    ESFJs are warm-hearted individuals who highly value their close personal relationships. They are very service-oriented, and their own happiness is closely tied into the happiness and comfort of those around them. They are valued for their genuine warm and caring natures, and their special ability to bring out the best in others. They usually do not handle conflict well, and may tend to be very controlling or manipulative. Relationships are central to their lives, and they put forth a great amount of energy into developing and maintaining their close interpersonal relationships. They expect the same from others.

    ESFJ Strengths


    • Put forth a lot of effort to fulfill their duties and obligations
    • Warm, friendly and affirming by nature
    • Service-oriented, they want to please others
    • Take their commitments very seriously, and seek lifelong relationships
    • Responsible and practical, they can be counted to take care of day-to-day necessities
    • Generally upbeat and popular, people are drawn towards them
    • Generally very good money managers
    • Traditionally minded and family-oriented, they will make family celebrations and traditions special events


    ESFJ Weaknesses


    • Generally uncomfortable with change, and moving into new territories
    • Extreme dislike of conflict and criticism
    • Need a lot of positive affirmation to feel good about themselves
    • May be overly status-conscious, and interested in how others see them
    • Have very difficult time accepting the end of a relationship, and are likely to take the blame for the failure onto their own shoulders
    • Have difficulty accepting negative things about people close to them
    • Don't pay enough attention to their own needs, and may be self-sacrificing
    • May tend to use guilt manipulation as a way to get what they want


    ESFJs as Lovers


    ESFJs are warmly caring people who give their intimate relationships a lot of special care and attention. They're usually traditional and take their commitments very seriously. Once the ESFJ has said "I do", you can bet that they will put forth every effort to fulfill their obligations to the relationship.

    ESFJs have a tendency to be very conscious of social status and "what other people think". They should take care not to let this interfere with their close relationships.

    Sexually, ESFJs are warm and loving, and welcome intimacy as an opportunity to express their affections, and receive their partners gifts of love. Many ESFJs have a tendency to be highly scheduled and traditional in their sexual habits, but this is almost always overcome by increasing their education and awareness of options. ESFJs are very service-oriented and will place a lot of importance on making their partners happy.
    Being highly practical, the ESFJ is excellent in matters regarding home management. They're likely to be very responsible about taking care of day-to-day needs, and to be careful and cautious about money matters. They are interested in security and peaceful living, and are willing and able to do their part towards acheiving these goals for themselves, their mates, and their families.

    Most ESFJs have a strong need to "belong" - whether it be to institutions or traditions, or family units. This need usually causes them to be quite social creatures, who enjoy attending parties, as well as throwing their own. They're likely to strongly desire that their mates share in their social experiences.

    ESFJs as Friends


    Although the ESFJ usually puts their family in front of their friends, they do place a lot of importance on their close friendships, and feel tremendous loyalty towards their friends. Since they feel tremendous pressure in their lives to constantly "do their duty", they may sometimes turn their friendships into another task or responsibility. Usually, however, they get a lot of enjoyment from their friendships, and give back a lot of affirming warmth.
    There are a couple of ESFJ tendencies which may cause problems with their casual and intimate friendships: 1) they don't give things freely - they expect something in return, and 2) they have a difficult time believing anything bad about someone close to them.

    ESFJs are valued by others for their genuine interest in people, and for their warmth and kind-heartedness. They have a special skill at seeing the best in others, and making people feel good about themselves. As such, they usually have a relatively large number of very close friends, usually of all different personality types.

    ESFJs are likely to have well-furnished, orderly and attractive homes. They are usually excellents hosts and hostesses, and enjoy throwing parties and having a good time. They like to feel as if they belong to traditions and institutions, and are likely to have a relatively large group of people which they include in their social circles.
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  5. #5
    INFJ - The Protectors

    Quote Originally Posted by birdsinplanes View Post
    I think Nick is definitely an INFJ. Not only is he a writer (introverted intuition), he is quiet & observant, adaptive to different kinds of company, and keenly aware of social taboo and the discomfort of others (extroverted feeling). I have spent a great deal of time with an INFJ male, and I kept thinking throughout the movie how Nick is so clearly an INFJ. Other parallels to anecdotal INFJ qualities - He has this big idea of him being a bonds man. Even though it's not really a good fit for him, he thinks he can read his way to wealth. INFJs seem to believe that knowledge is they key to anything, and that they have the ability to read their way to solutions and happiness. Also, Nick is quite judgemental of everyone except Gatsby, whom he's placed on a pedestal as a hero of a self-made man propelled by his value of love and ability to learn his way into success. I've read some forums about how INFJs' idealism and J cause them to occasionally "axe" people who betray their values. Lastly, Nick also is reluctant to hang out with Myrtle's friends. He probably feels like this very SP crowd wouldn't understand him and he doesn't respect the lack of integrity of Tom's relationship with Myrtle.
    I agree, I do see Nick as an INFJ

  6. #6
    INFJ - The Protectors

    I think that Gatsby would be a difficult character to type generally because a significant aspect of Gatsby is surrounded by the question, "who is Gatsby?"

    Gatsby is a character of masks and personas, and we never truly have narrative access to him. All that we (readers) know about Gatsby is Nick's impression of Gatsby. This creates a "mask" through the narrative structure.

    Beyond the primary removal of the narrative structure, Gatsby is removed a second time by virtue of the nature of the character himself. Gatsby is an individual who continually puts on the social graces required to integrate with the people and circles who are of use to his greater core ideal. From one perspective, it could be argued that this chameleon and masked nature was a necessity to overcome Gatsby's own ties to his class background which ultimately failed him, but to dig a bit deeper into the character, it could also be argued that this betrayal of Gatsby's immediate truth-of-self has always been primary to Gatsby's true nature; that is, it could be argued that Gatsby is never essentially himself because Gatsby himself is always in pursuit of some wonderfully designed ideal self that has the potential to exist in the future.

    As the novel plays out, it is, in many ways, this tendency to strive continuously for some future ideal of self that not only requires Gatsby to be a character of masks, deeply inaccessible and unknowable to both his character-contemporaries and to readers as well, but which also becomes his tragic flaw and eventual undoing.

    From the perspective of trying to type a character, this means that Gatsby must be looked at with some caution and skepticism. These masks can not be believed and so it is the motivation for the masks that becomes more important than the behaviours themselves.

    One significant example is the parties. It should not at all be assumed that Gatsby enjoys his own parties, nor should it be assumed that Gatsby has a warm, general interest in others. From what I've been able to tell (and I'm only still in the process of re-reading this novella now in order to dig more deeply into the content because it's been years since I read it last) the fundamental core truth behind Gatsby's behaviour is that his actions serve Gatsby's own construct of ideal self.

    That said, it is possible that certain qualities of Gatsby which exist within his highly constructed persona are authentic to his core self; it seems more that Gatsby has placed the vision in a place of such predominance that even he himself has abandoned who he is. In fact, I think the persona of Gatsby is patched together using qualities that are inherent to who he is.

    This is where his connections with both Daisy and Nick become interesting. In many ways, though Gatsby's original drive to persona is about class structure, his direction shifts as his focus shifts towards obtaining Daisy. So, in that sense, not only does Gatsby abandon his authentic self, he also abandons his original vision of potential self and shifts his focus to the attainment of the ideal of Daisy, and uses his vision of potential self towards the direction of this new goal.

    Nick, then, becomes interesting as an antithesis to Daisy in his interactions with Gatsby. Where Daisy leads Gatsby down a path of ultimate self abandonment, Nick is the character asking this significant question of "who is Gatsby?" It is Nick who is interested in who Gatsby genuinely is, and it is Nick who eventually becomes privilege to some of the unknown and hidden truths of Gastby's authentic character. That said, there is some case for "unreliable narrator," here because of Nick's tendency to idealize Gatsby.

    (As sort of an associated thought, it seems that Nick tends to idealize generally and I think this is something of the draw between the two characters. If Gatsby's tragedy is losing himself to the world on the behalf of the ideal, Nick's tragedy is losing his ideals as a result of the world.)

    As far as typing Gatsby, I have no real ideas or suggestions to offer. I'm just offering a little bit of character analysis.

    If I was going to, based on my above analysis of Gatsby, I think I would see him as an Idealist of some sort simply because his core focus in life seems to be that devotion to his grand visions on a level that his grand visions are his life's purpose rather than being a principle or something developed from other qualities; Gatsby creates himself around the vision, and the vision itself colours his ability to see others and the world. The details, I think, then come from the way in which he pursues that vision. This is, of course, only a haphazard and superficial speculation (as well as a bit of an instinct) so I'm certainly not trying to be definitive here. I ultimately do not know, really, and I haven't thought too deeply about it.

    Ultimately, though, I agree that I see Nick as an INFJ. Essentially, the opening of the novel reads, to me, as Nick going, "look, so I'm an INFJ here."

    (I actually find it hilarious that he lives next door to Gatsby, and yet he's like, "who? Parties? What?" Nick is so highly observant of character, and society, so attuned to delicate nuances and then he's like, "there's a mad party next door? Who knew!" Hilarious.)
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  7. #7
    INTJ - The Scientists

    I do believe Gatsby is enneagram type 4 and a lot of INFJs are 4s, which may cause the confusion. I am pretty sure he is an Fe-dom. Not an introvert anyway.


    Nick, by contrast is either enneagram 5 or 9 (almost certain his tritype is 952). Nick is a introvert, and very much an observer.

  8. #8
    ENTJ - The Executives

    INFJ or ENFP

  9. #9
    INFJ - The Protectors

    Seems more like an ENFJ to me...

  10. #10
    INFJ - The Protectors

    You're not the first to type Gatsby as INFJ. I've read in a lot of places that he is and I think so too.


 
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