Personality Cafe banner
1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Banned
Joined
·
14,801 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Christopher McCandless aka Alexander Supertramp of Into the Wild biography and film notoriety was a brilliant intellectual who double majored in history and anthropology, lived an idealistically ethical life, was accepted to Harvard (but refused to go per his own staunch system of ethics) and to some is remembered as an inspiration, a cult hero. Gosh darn it Sean Penn made a staggeringly beautiful film.

However, this young man lacked common sense to the point of self destructive stupidity for someone so intellectually brilliant and morally sound. He's looked upon by hikers, survivalists and park rangers as an arrogant and delusional idiot.

No common sense. Absolute zero.

Indirectly responsible for own death at 24, mere miles from salvation.


INFP or ENFP?
 

·
Ayatollah of Coca-Cola
Joined
·
11,718 Posts
Read about this guy on here earlier this year. Someone made the case that he was an INFP.

I agree that he exhibited a profound lack of common sense. There's clearly a lot more to being a survivalist than what he idealized.

I also understand that there was actually some kind of cabin fairly nearby to where he died, where there was food available, but I guess he had no awareness of it.

I wonder what Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau would have thought of him.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
14,801 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Personally, I think he was an INFJ.
Im pretty sure he was not INFJ. If he had Ni he was ISFP...but I don't think so. I have a difficult time believing someone with auxiliary Se would go into the Alaskan wilderness with inadequate supplies and refuse to use a map....on idealistic principle?

He was very smart make no mistake on that, but he showed an embarrassing.lack of common sense for a man, a college educated man, in his twenties. To me that suggests inferior Si...but I also thought his Si could be tertiary because the tertiary is a relief function that is sometimes OVERESTIMATED...like how he seemed so cocksure he could make it in the Alaskan wilderness without proper tools or maps or help from others.

I also thought that the fact that he ran track in high school but had to regard it as "running against evil" sounds Fi/Si.

Fi in my opinion is his most obvious function. He gave his remaining 24,000 trust fund to charity, and people say he held himself to ridiculously high standards, which sounds very INFP...he seemed guided by personal quest for meaning and authenticity (even talking about getting rid of the inner false self or something) rather than a "vision."

His impulsive enthusiasm seems ENFP ...and yet...would not an ENFP go mad after a couple months in the wilderness alone and build a raft if he had to, in order to get back to civilization? One of the reasons he died was not mere lack of physical realism, but also dogged ethical determination to find some inner state of purity.

He also tugs at the heart strings with his soul searing sincerity, despite his arrogant ineptitude. That's why people love him. He has that appeal, that innocence despite experience.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
14,801 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Read about this guy on here earlier this year. Someone made the case that he was an INFP.

I agree that he exhibited a profound lack of common sense. There's clearly a lot more to being a survivalist than what he idealized.

I also understand that there was actually some kind of cabin fairly nearby to where he died, where there was food available, but I guess he had no awareness of it.

I wonder what Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau would have thought of him.
He apparently was writing poetry and wished others well as he starved to death, so you know, the romantics probably would have liked him.

I didn't know that there was a thread about him already.

There was a cabin near by, a tram 1/4 mile away, and he was near a state park.

It boggles my mind. I would have pissed myself screaming for help before I got anywhere near 67 pounds. It's truly bizarre, because his journal seems to indicate he believed there was no way out.

What am I saying. He has to be INFP. He either was truly physically unobservant of his surroundings or too stubbornly inwardly focused on his ideal to ask for help until it was too late...either way that would indicate introversion.
 

·
Ayatollah of Coca-Cola
Joined
·
11,718 Posts
He apparently was writing poetry and wished others well as he starved to death, so you know, the romantics probably would have liked him.
Hmm, yeah, they'd likely be in tune with his ideals, but I think Thoreau would have criticized his lack of practical sensibility. I'd say it's a lot more foolhardy to try and live simply in the Alaskan wilderness as opposed to a cabin the woods in Massachusetts just three kilometres from town. Thoreau's experiment seemed much more wise.

fourtines said:
It boggles my mind. I would have pissed myself screaming for help before I got anywhere near 67 pounds. It's truly bizarre, because his journal seems to indicate he believed there was no way out.
I read that he ingested something toxic while he was up there that may have caused some type of paralysis in his body, which would likely make it difficult to do a lot of things.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,330 Posts
I find that this describes Chris' behaviour very well:

Ideal (Ni) vs. Actual (Se); Perfectionism

Envisioning a more ideal world isn’t necessarily bad or unhealthy for INFJs. The fact is that they wouldn’t be INFJs if they didn’t routinely receive new impressions and visions. The issue is not with their dreaming per se, but with the degree to which they become attached to or insistent on the perfect materialization (Se) of their ideals (Ni). This is where INFJs’ perfectionism comes to the fore.


All dominant Intuitives can be perfectionistic, driven to see their N ideals perfectly translated into S reality. The issue of quality is extremely important to INFJs, which is why they can be so particular about the things they buy or the way their work is done. Some INFJs may sacrifice everything, even their own health or sanity, to ensure their vision finds a perfect incarnation. They can be obsessive and “in the grip,” locked into a narrow mode of existence they cannot readily escape. In such a state, any deviation from their ideal may feel like the end of the world.


INFJs are also perfectionistic when it comes to themselves. They are often much harder on themselves than they are on others. Their Fe makes them more than willing to forgive the offenses and shortcomings of others. But since they see themselves as “knowing better,” they may fail to grant themselves the same degree of grace. They may reason that if they cannot perfectly embody their ideal of the moral life, then how could they expect anyone else to. And if their ideals have no real chance of being actualized, then why should the INFJ even exist? Without the ability to maintain hope in their ideals, they may feel they have no reason for living. This is partly why it feels so important for them to act perfectly. This notion is well-captured in the words of Jesus: “But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked” (Luke 12:48, NIV).
INFJ Personality Profile - Personality Junkie

The personality junkie INFJ profile used to have a blurb on authenticity and fake selfs when I originally concluded McCandless to be an INFJ.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
14,801 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hmm, yeah, they'd likely be in tune with his ideals, but I think Thoreau would have criticized his lack of practical sensibility. I'd say it's a lot more foolhardy to try and live simply in the Alaskan wilderness as opposed to a cabin the woods in Massachusetts just three kilometres from town. Thoreau's experiment seemed much more wise.



I read that he ingested something toxic while he was up there that may have caused some type of paralysis in his body, which would likely make it difficult to do a lot of things.
He was there for four months. You don't drop 80 pounds of normal body weight in a few weeks after eating some bad berries. He weighed 140 pounds normally, he was a small guy. Only a morbidly obese person would drop even half that much weight in two or three weeks. Therefore he had probably lost forty or fifty pounds easily before he ate the toxin. Umm...yeah, I would think once it reached that point a normal person would become alarmed and find any way out he could. Remember there is a journal that indicates the time line. Mr. Supertramp had more than ample time to escape. The only plausible neurotoxin theory only applies to a person already malnourished. It would not have killed him at a reasonable weight. No he waited until it was too late to ask for help.

I feel very sad for him, but his death followed literally months of gross negligence and willful stupidity.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
14,801 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·

·
Ayatollah of Coca-Cola
Joined
·
11,718 Posts
He was there for four months. You don't drop 80 pounds of normal body weight in a few weeks after eating some bad berries. He weighed 140 pounds normally, he was a small guy. Only a morbidly obese person would drop even half that much weight in two or three weeks. Therefore he had probably lost forty or fifty pounds easily before he ate the toxin. Umm...yeah, I would think once it reached that point a normal person would become alarmed and find any way out he could. Remember there is a journal that indicates the time line. Mr. Supertramp had more than ample time to escape. The only plausible neurotoxin theory only applies to a person already malnourished. It would not have killed him at a reasonable weight. No he waited until it was too late to ask for help.

I feel very sad for him, but his death followed literally months of gross negligence and willful stupidity.
I agree. My hypothesis is that the massive weight loss was likely due in part to either a severe shortage of food supply, or his own inability to obtain food effectively. Apparently he also killed a moose but did not preserve the meat properly so it ended up rotten and covered in maggots.

So, I'm leaning toward a conclusion in which he lost most of the weight before ingesting the toxin, and then whatever symptoms he may have suffered due to the toxin were instrumental in him not being able to seek out help the way he could have otherwise.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,330 Posts
He is completely Fi not Fe driven.
My argument is that he is Ni driven. :p



As to the weight-loss, he didn't lose 80 pounds over a few weeks. He gradually lost weight over the two years he spent being a wandering hobo, with the most dangerously significant loss of weight in the last few months in Alaska.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
14,801 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
My argument is that he is Ni driven. :p



As to the weight-loss, he didn't lose 80 pounds over a few weeks. He gradually lost weight over the two years he spent being a wandering hobo, with the most dangerously significant loss of weight in the last few months in Alaska.
No. He weighed 140 even after canoeing into Mexico. I think you missed the point of my post. He lost a great deal of weight before he ate the seeds, slowly, from food shortage in the bush. What kind of lunatic goes into the god forsaken TUNDRA and allows himself to starve to death on INTERNAL ethical principle, rather than anorexia? A disturbed INFP. He had an abusive father and was a sensitive boy.

No, you see, you are not accounting for how INFJ shows their own dogged insanity. An INFJ would starve for other people, like Ghandi. Or get crucified like Jesus. Or form a social hierarchy nightmare scheme like Hitler. Yes, the INFJ may also be driven, but it is Fe that fuels their fire.

Mr. Supertramp was quite internally ethically motivated.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
14,801 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Also I want to point out that tertiary Si can give INFP a fatalistic going down with the ship quality like ISTJ, just in a different way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,330 Posts
I'm not convinced he's not an INFJ; however, if I had to pick between ENFP and INFP, he would definitely be an INFP. Why would you think ENFP? Was it because of how people liked him? My buddy is an INFP and everyone loves him. INFPs are great listeners. His ability to actively listen and engage with anyone about anything is incredible. He does prefer his alone time though.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
14,801 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I'm not convinced he's not an INFJ; however, if I had to pick between ENFP and INFP, he would definitely be an INFP. Why would you think ENFP? Was it because of how people liked him? My buddy is an INFP and everyone loves him. INFPs are great listeners. His ability to actively listen and engage with anyone about anything is incredible. He does prefer his alone time though.
Because people liked him? His college roommate described him as socially awkward in one interview. I mean people as in his cult following like him or the idea of him...no I thought ENFP because of impulsivity, poor planning (um two more arguments against INFJ right there...) and possibly rejected Si.

I don't think you understand. Christopher McCandless lived and died for no one other than himself, as ethical as he was, he was self absorbed to the point of destruction...nothing about him suggests Fe.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,330 Posts
Because people liked him? His college roommate described him as socially awkward in one interview. I mean people as in his cult following like him or the idea of him...no I thought ENFP because of impulsivity, poor planning (um two more arguments against INFJ right there...) and possibly rejected Si.

I don't think you understand. Christopher McCandless lived and died for no one other than himself, as ethical as he was, he was self absorbed to the point of destruction...nothing about him suggests Fe.
I was referring to the people that were fond of him that he met along the way.

From an outsider's perspective it can appear to be impulsive and poorly planned, but it seemed to me that he followed his own plans and purpose. He also prepared by talking to experienced hunters and outdoorsmen, read books, etc. To me it felt like the two years prior to the actual trip to Alaska was preparation for the final journey.

He was not entirely self-absorbed. He did try to help people. He kept up with correspondence (except with people from his former life).
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
14,801 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I was referring to the people that were fond of him that he met along the way.

From an outsider's perspective it can appear to be impulsive and poorly planned, but it seemed to me that he followed his own plans and purpose. He also prepared by talking to experienced hunters and outdoorsmen, read books, etc. To me it felt like the two years prior to the actual trip to Alaska was preparation for the final journey.

He was not entirely self-absorbed. He did try to help people. He kept up with correspondence (except with people from his former life).
People with Fi can care about other people you know, we have friends and give to charity and whatnot.

I honestly think this is a matter of you not understanding why I insist he is Fi. It's actually pretty common for Fe users, including NFJ not just SFJ, to work inside of a system or build a new system. Jesus lived out side of society yet had disciples and worked to establish a new law by constantly reaching out to others and giving public speeches. Hitler, a less admirable NFJ, still followed the structure of creating the Nazi party. The NFJs vision is upheld and constructed by Fe. Even Oprah Winfrey worked within the broadcasting system in order to work her way up, and earn public trust, before becoming more established as an independent philanthropist.

ENFJ is the teacher, INFJ the counselor, because they still tend to work within social systems to actively reach out to others in some way.

ENFP is the champion and INFP the healer because while they still may help others, it's via inspiration, example, indirect or less organized means of living out their ethical beliefs.

Christopher McCandless' approach to others was some what hands off. He wrote one huge check to Oxfam but didn't get involved in the organization. In fact I wonder if his own suicidal starvation was in any way misguided internalized Fi empathy for starving people, since that was obviously a grave concern for him in college while studying things like African anthropology and eschewing materialism and greed.

He made intense friendship with people yet stayed true to his individual course without getting involved in any community, not just his own family.

He was compelled to "destroy the false inner self" and go completely within, as if there, inside (not in society) was where real ethical truth existed.

I have yet to see you make any kind of convincing argument for Fe, more like you keep insisting his journey was Ni.

He was impulsive. He canoed the Colorado river without a permit and ended up in Mexico. He often did things without thinking. His college roommate said that in college one time Chris got drunk and suggested they rob a liquor store to get more alcohol since it was after 2 and they could not legally purchase more alcohol. Of course he had a plan to go to Alaska, but he kind of randomly wandered around first...the entire two years was not preparation for Alaska, just the final few months. I believe an Ni dom would have been more careful.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,330 Posts
People with Fi can care about other people you know, we have friends and give to charity and whatnot.
I'm confused. I never said they didn't. This:

I was referring to the people that were fond of him that he met along the way.
Was in response to this:

Because people liked him? His college roommate described him as socially awkward in one interview. I mean people as in his cult following like him or the idea of him.
Which was about ENFP vs INFP.


I have yet to see you make any kind of convincing argument for Fe, more like you keep insisting his journey was Ni.
a) I dropped trying to argue INFJ and switched to the topic of ENFP vs INFP.
b) I would not compare one's aux against another's dominant function. Which is why I argued Ni-dom vs Fi-dom. But again, I dropped that debate. Every subsequent argument has been to offer a differing perspective from your arguments, rather than to suggest any conclusion on his type. In other words, I was playing devil's advocate.
 

·
decorum worshiper
Joined
·
8,993 Posts
I think he might not have cared whether or not he made it out of Alaska. Some of his letters right before he left allude to him sensing something might happen to him.

Not sure on his type, I'd also consider IXTJ though. Along with INFJ and INFP being consider. I very highly doubt he was an extrovert.
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Top