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As some of you may know, I made a thread in the Myer-Briggs forum pointing out the flaws of typism. Despite that, I enjoy guessing a fictional character's type every now and then. The interpretations are only to be taken with a grain of salt, and I'm aware that one character will never represent a type as a whole, only parts of it.

This 2000 movie, starring Jim Carrey, has been one of my favorites since childhood due to its notable humor and heart-warming moments. I felt that this would be easier to analyze rather than the book, since it provides more complex character backgrounds and behaviors. With that being said, I would like to open up a discussion using the two main characters in the movie: The Grinch and Cindy-Lou Who.





The Grinch


I think that the Grinch is a classic xNTx, due to:

-His knack for creating complicated contraptions that are both useful and unusual. You could say that he built the whole interior of his cave.

-His ability to think of brilliant, devious plans on the spot. Like when the idea of pretending to be Santa Claus, creating a makeshift sleigh and using his dog Max as a reindeer just came to him out of the blue. I noticed that he puts more emphasis on creativity than contingency. Even though he ran a crash test of the sleigh, everything about it was perfect except for the fact that it ran out of fuel and broke down while he was traveling. Having no fuel, he used Max to pull the heavy sleigh the rest of the way.

-Not to mention his improvisational skills. "But, you know, that old Grinch was so smart and so slick He thought up a lie, and he thought it up quick!" When Cindy-Lou caught him trying to steal her tree, he put on a very convincing Santa Claus facade, making it seem that he was going to fix the tree in his "workshop" and adding deep belly-laughter for effect.

-His 'trolling' sense of humor, which I found to be funny. He gets a thrill out of messing with people. When Cindy-Lou visited his cave to invite him to the annual Whobulation, he acted like a complete psycho just to see how she would react. And when he attended the celebration and scared all of the townspeople with his presence, he waited until they became silent. Having grabbed their attention, he maniacally stared out into the crowd.....then, after waiting a few long moments, "BOO!" The crowd drew back in fear, with him snickering at them. Additionally, a non-verbal example would be when he snuck into the town mailing room at the beginning of the movie, and replaced all of the people's letters with jury duty, blackmail, eviction notices, pink slips, etc.

-His lack of concern to conform. He was sickened by the idea of 'Christmas', which was a big tradition in Whoville. During the Whobulation, he told the townspeople that Christmas was just another excuse for "consumerism" and was all about the "gifts, gifts, gifts, gifts!" He also knows that people could, ironically, become greedy around the holidays. "Then the Whos, young and old, would sit down to a feast. And they'd feast! And they'd feast! And they'd FEAST! FEAST! FEAST! FEAST!"

-His total pride in whatever he accomplishes on his own, including his ingenious creations and, in the end, his realization that he helped out other people.


During the majority of the movie, the Grinch is an unhealthy xNTx. He lives in total recluse and tries to convince himself that he doesn't need other people, even though it is evident that he is bitter and lonely. His extreme cynicism of humanity is due to the fact that he was bullied for being 'green' and different, both literally and metaphorically, when we was a child. However, towards the end, the Grinch starts to become a healthy xNTx. After hearing the Whos singing despite having their possessions stolen, he realizes that Christmas itself has, indeed, more meaning to it, and how he was wrong for attempting to ruin it for other people. His heart then grows "three sizes larger", and he gleefully tells Max, "I'm FEELING!"




Cindy-Lou Who

Even though she is still a child, Cindy-Lou Who shows signs of a classic xNFx because of:

-Her ability to see the potential good in a person, despite it not being obvious. At the beginning of the movie, the Grinch scared Cindy Lou in the mailing room, making her fall into the dangerous sorting machine. With some nudging from Max, the Grinch became guilty and pulled her out. When she thanked him for saving her, he became flustered and made up a lie that he only did it to play a prank. He then wrapped her in red Christmas gift wrap, put a bow and shipping label on her, and left her in the mailing room. Even despite that, she still said "It's amazing- the Grinch saved me!" when her father found her. Another example of this would be when she encounters 'Santa Claus', who was really the Grinch in disguise. Speaking about presents, she tells him, "Don't forget the Grinch. I know he's mean and hairy and smelly. His hands might be cold and clammy, but I think he's actually kinda... sweet."

-Her altruism, which was against the Whoville norm. She spoke out from the crowd and said "I nominate the Grinch!" when the Mayor announced the awarding of the "Holiday Cheermeister." The crowd was shocked, and the Mayor tried to reason with her by reading a passage from the town code of ethics, which says that the Grinch can only be around when holiday spirit is in "short supply". Cindy-Lou then replies, "True, Mr. Mayor Who, but the book of Who also says this: No matter how different a Who may appear, they'll always be welcome with holiday cheer."

-This goes hand-in-hand with her genuine will to help out the Grinch at all costs, despite warnings from people. This concern showed in her efforts to learn more about him; she visited the people who were close to him and interviewed them, asking them what they thought/knew about the Grinch. She also climbed the perilous Mt Crumpet to get to where he lived, despite the imminent danger of slipping and falling.

-Her need to find a deeper emotional purpose. "Everybody seems to be kerbabbled." she told her father while they were Christmas shopping. "Isn't this just a little superfluous?" During the Christmas, Why Can't I Find You? segment, Cindy-Lou sang about how she lost her way in the grand scheme of things and how she was concerned about how inauthentic the idea of 'Christmas' has become. Another example would be when she asked Santa Claus, again the Grinch in disguise, what he thought Christmas was all about. After he slyly said, "Gifts", she replied, "That's what I was afraid of".


Cindy-Lou Who is a wise and mature xNFx throughout the movie, even though she appears to be naive to other people.




Your turn! What do you think are the personality types of these two characters, and why? Feel free to watch or rewatch (like I just did) the movie, too.
 
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