Thursday, March 13, 2014

MBTI in Young Adult Fiction: Divergent by Veronica Roth

Since the Divergent adaptation is coming soon (March 21, 2014), I decided that I would bring back my old feature on MBTI in YA fiction as a way of also promoting the film. I previously did this feature with Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead and its adaptation.

(Never heard of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator? It's a personality test that sorts you according to your preference re: attitudes (introversion/extroversion), functions (intuition/sensing, thinking/feeling), and lifestyle (judging/perceiving). If you're curious about what type you are, you can look through this chart or take this test. For more information on MBTI, you can look at my previous post.)


Theoretically, instead of having descriptions of Uriah and Myra, I could've used the movie images for Max, Lauren, and Molly. However, I didn't think that any of them fit the remaining two personality types. What I think is remarkable is how the actors already have convinced me of their characters from these stills. Like Kate Winslet and her strategic calculation face. Or maybe I'm just imagining things...? I previously explained how I had characterized Tris and Four and can explain the rest if you're interested!

Something I thought was amusing was how the character whose type I share (INFP) is someone who fades to the background in the series. In a lot of YA books, it seems like the idealist is one of the primary figures, but this seems to fit with what Veronica Roth had said in her Amazon interview about writing through the realization that virtue is not the end or answer. And, also, er, I can't imagine the idealist lasting too long in dystopian fiction -- Peeta did mostly because of Katniss!

I also remembered that Divergent includes several non-white characters, but when I look at this chart, it becomes a little more disappointing that Uriah wasn't included because there are only two non-white characters featured there. Part of that is also my fault: I could've put Max in place of Eric, but Eric is a more prominent figure in the books. Still something to think about.

*The making of this graphic: Copyright belongs to Veronica Roth, HarperCollins, and the Divergent Movie with relation to these pictures and obviously, the series in question. The images were taken from the upcoming movie adaptation from Summit Entertainment (March 21, 2014) or promotional images generated for the film (e.g. the title "Divergent" & the faction symbols). The Divergent cityscape comes from the cover of the first novel. For those of you interested in fonts: Agency FB was used for the Personality Type Chart, page numbers, & personality descriptions, Optimus Princeps for the copyright & my "made by" slogan, Blue Highway D for "Which Character Are You?," Century Gothic for the MBTI types, Mistral for the character names, "dctcsc10" (as it's labeled in Photoshop Elements 5) for the MBTI type labels, Berlin Sans FB for the Uriah & Myra descriptions.

One thing I would like to add is a disclaimer. None of these are my characters and I'm not affiliated with the makers of the MBTI test. All of the categorizations are unofficial and subjective.

Do you agree with my predictions? If not, what would you change? Which characters fit your personality type? If you're curious about the labels for certain characters, leave a comment and I'll explain my reasoning! Are you excited for the movie adaptation? Have you seen all those featurettes? SO, SO EXCITED.

11 comments:

  1. Wow, I didn't realize til now that you made these graphics yourself. Rock on! That's gorgeous. I've just stared reading Divergent (already obsessed; as though I wouldn't be about a book set in Chicago) so I don't know them all as well, but I can already see some of these. The MBTI is also fun, even though grumble grumble psychology grumble.

    Nice post! I'm an INFJ. I'm super excited to be grouped with Christina, although she's WAY cooler than I am.

    C.J.
    Sarcasm & Lemons

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    1. Thanks! Yes, my hobbies include photography and photo manipulation. I used to really love working on graphics, so getting to make some of these MBTI charts and thinking through what personality types each character has speaks to both my passions regarding psychology and photography. Woot!!! I'm glad you're liking Divergent. I hope this means you'll get to see the movie soon... and puhlease. You're quite as cool as Christina! Don't even, ms. psych grad student.

      :)

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  2. YAY, another one! :D I love these, because it's so fun to see how you typed everyone (and if I agree -- I think I do!), and who you chose to represent my type: INTJ. I see I'm like Jeanine, which is definitely a bit unsettling, lol! But I'm also sorta INFJ, and I like Christina, so that's good too. :D

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    1. Yay!!! I'm glad there are some people who like these graphics & mbti types as much as I do. I honestly debated whether or not I'd spend the time doing another (take so much longer than you might think!). But anyway, ha, but Divergent is all about how your choices make who you are. You might have similar personality characteristics with jeanine, but I wouldn't get too unsettled with that since you're not making the same choices as she did ;). At least I hope you're not going to order us all to such horrible fates lol.

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  3. I only recently discovered that you made these, and I absolutely loved it. Total MBTI nerd here. I've been an INFJ since I first took the test in middle school, and it describes me pretty accurately. (Also, funny that all the comments so far are from INFJs!)

    I was curious at how you ended up distinguishing the introverts from the extroverts, as that can often be quite tricky. For example, we might know some of the main characters are introverts because we read about them more often, often enough to know they need time alone though they might also be comfortable in social settings, but, for example, Tris's parents? I know they're in the community a lot, but I don't know if anything I read had yet convinced me firmly one way or the other. (I haven't read Allegiant yet, though I should be starting that soon.)

    Anyway, I love this stuff. :)

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    1. Distinguishing the introverts from the extroverts was probably the hardest bit for Divergent, since it's so focused on Tris. I decided that Tris's parents were both extroverts, however, since they were both in positions of extreme contact among others. If I'm not mistaken, Andrew was an Abnegation leader and Natalie was actively involved in volunteering for the community. It's true that introverts can be leaders - Tris is clearly a leader and I've marked her as an introvert - but I would hope that Andrew did not rise to Abneg. leader knowing that the work would tire him constantly or Natalie doing that activity without enjoying it too, even if Abnegation is all about 'removing the self.' Natalie was also (SPOILER FOR DIVERGENT) Dauntless born, so given the atmosphere that we are shown in Divergent, it seems very... extroversion-promoting. And for Andrew, an Erudite-born, to go from an environment that seemed oriented toward introversion (I'd guess that of Erudite) into one where he assumes leadership? So yeah... The actual descriptions of their personality types too seem fitting for what we know of their characters as well. All the others seem very extroverted to me. Like Tori? There's something about her and her easy rise to power and the way everyone seems to know of her that made me think extrovert. And the others are the same to me. :) I hope that made sense.

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  4. Love these posts of yours SO much!! So interesting. It has me thinking about characters in books in ways that had never occurred to me before.

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    1. Thanks, Aylee! I'm glad it's helped you think about the characters in different ways -- that's all I could hope for :)

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  5. I thought Triss was INFJ, and there is no way Kristina was INFJ. Provide reasoning to the predictions, I can explain mine but this tiny box limited my explanation. Triss screams of INFJ to me.

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    1. Hi, anonymous! Tris actually screams of INTP to me. Here's what I said in my original post on her:

      "Having grown up in Abnegation, Tris seems uncomfortable with a lot of public displays and more introverted. I marked her as N because of her ability to see the bigger picture across the series (particularly re: that cliffhanger in Insurgent) and because her comments on human nature point toward an abstract way of thinking. She seems more logical oriented than feeling oriented, focusing on the duty and honor she owes to her parents and what they would have her do rather than the crippling grief and love for everything they have done for her. Her actions in Insurgent seem to contradict these claims, but her decisions also fell in line with her internal set of logic as Katniss's did. Plus, is she a counselor (INFJ) or a strategist (INTJ)? To me, it seems more likely that she's an INTJ, and reading her actions in that light makes sense especially given her drier, more practical point of view. It's tempting to mark her as a P because of her last minute choice to join Dauntless, but I'd read that as Tris already knowing that she would but feeling guilty that she would not fulfill familial duty and join Abnegation. The idea that she is a P is also somewhat negated by the fact that she experiences initial turmoil over having so many options for factions; if she was a P, she would like to have more options for the future. Yet she also seems impulsive like a P and her being a philosopher fits her comments on human nature, so I'd say she's somewhere between a P and J. Also, her friends refer to her Erudite nature as justification for consulting her on plans of action, but they're likely sensing and reacting to the strategist in her."

      The T: Tris's entire narrative seems logical rather than feeling oriented to me. Every observation she makes - even if that's a characteristic of the writing. An INTP is a Philosopher and Architect - Tris is that throughout the entire series, constantly talking of human nature and facilitating all the big decisions in the series. How far have you read in the series? I don't want to spoil anything for you... Tris's big decision in Allegiant - arguably her most important - smacks of T oriented thinking rather than F to me.

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  6. I think she's more S (ISTP), especially if we take into account the cognitive functions. I don't see her using TiNe but TiSe in my opinion.

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