Did they have Myers-Briggs in 1811?

The ongoing popularity of Pride and Prejudice (and all of Jane Austen’s writings) is due in large part to the universality of her characters. Can’t you see Lydia today, jabbering on a cell phone while hanging out at the mall? Or Mr. Collins using an on-line dating service to find Mrs. Right? The characters are as real and as believable as they were 200 years ago. So how would Lizzy’s and Mr. Darcy’s compatibility be assessed in today’s world? In our world of personality tests and marketing analysis, I am not sure this match would be seen in a prudential light.

In Myers-Briggs lingo, Mr. Darcy presents as a full-blooded INTJ. He is a problem-solver with strong opinions, competent at analyzing complex and theoretical material. He may appear insensitive to others (which isn’t always true underneath) and loves spirited debate, although he will value his opinion over those of others. He supposedly would be a good scientist, CIA operative  or corporate executive.

In contrast, Lizzy is a classic ENFJ. She is a charismatic and engaging people-person who likes to offer wisdom to the world at large, exuding charm and striving for harmony. She enjoys talking and learning from others and would make a good social worker, sales person or politician.

Scientifically, they are two personality types least likely to have a successful relationship. Jane Austen must believe that opposites attract. As they grow and mature through the book,  there is more than enough merit between them to make one good sort of match.

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8 responses to “Did they have Myers-Briggs in 1811?

  1. What a great blog. I love your quote images. Very clever. Keep it up.

    Cheers, Laurel Ann

  2. I disagree with your type suggestion for Elizabeth Bennett. In the novel there are many references to Elizabeth being reserved, preferring time to herself, etc., which suggests introversion. Although she is very charming, she seems to me more introverted than extroverted. I also remember at some point a mention that she wants to understand people, and she has a hard time with the inconsistency of some person’s behaviors. I would guess that she may actually be an INTJ, just as Mr. Darcy is.

    And just a few more possible MBTI-matchups I have noticed from the novel: Mr. Bennett, I believe, may be an INTP. Jane Bennett: INFP. Mr. Bingley: EXFP.

  3. Thank you for pointing me to the website of Meyer&Briggs foundation.
    That was very useful and I tried to find out which personality I have between the 16 MBTI® Types. Pride and Prejudice is simply a master of piece and as you said the universality of her characters Elisabeth and Darrcy is one of its best characteristics.
    I also find that Elisabeth more I would guess that she may actually be an INTJ than ENFJ.

  4. Ahahaha.
    Too true, but I never realized it!
    I took the M-B test thing, I’m an INTJ too!
    Yay! 😀

  5. In relation to Darcy: “the INTJ’s natural partner is the ENFP, or the ENTP. ”
    (http://www.personalitypage.com/INTJ_rel.html)

  6. See this article from the Jane Austen Society of North America:
    http://www.jasna.org/persuasions/on-line/vol22no1/rytting.html

    I think Elizabeth was an INFJ. But I totally agree that Mr. Darcy was an INTJ and Mr. Bennet is an INTP while Mr. Bingley is an ESFP.

    But I can never decide if Jane is an ISFJ or an INFJ. I lean S.

  7. I KNEW it!
    I am an INTJ, and i always compared myself to him personality wise (even though i’m a girl… hmmm.)

  8. While I completely agree with Mr. Darcy being an INTJ, Elizabeth is most definitely not ENFJ and is definitely a quinessential ENFP.

    I am an ENFP and my roommate is an ENFJ and we just watched the movie together last week and were picking out all the situations where she would react so differently. Despite only one letter difference, there is a VAST difference between the personalities.
    ENFJ are VERY open about their feelings. My roommate shares her feelings with EVERYONE, and when she’s upset she wants lots of support from friends (Extraverted Feeling). ENFPs on the other hand keep their feelings internalized and deal with it there. When did Elizabeth share her feelings with ANYONE? Ummm, never? She got engaged at the same time her family all found out how she felt.

    ENFJ and INTJ would definitely be a bad combination, but Jane Austen knew better than that, and that’s why it’s ENFP and INTJ which is an ideal match.

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