If you’re not familiar with the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, this article probably won’t make very much sense. INFJ is one of the sixteen Myers-Briggs personality types, and an extra-special one, dare I say. INFJs are the rarest personality type and make up less than one percent of the population. As an INFJ myself, it was an extremely rewarding experience to finally take the test and realize that my uniqueness and sensitivity is a good thing. I also began researching characters who are believed to be INFJs in literature, and found myself astounded by the results.
Side note: Obviously, MBTI is not a proven science, and thus, these ideas are my opinions and not necessarily factually proven. That being said, I did consult quite a few forums to verify my thoughts. Also, SPOILERS AHEAD.
Let’s refresh: What are the indications of an INFJ? Primarily, you can identify an INFJ by their strong intuition, sensitivity, and strong emotions. We enjoy spending time alone, reflecting on events of the day and the interactions we endured. Fiercely independent and quietly strong-willed, INFJs have left their mark on the world for centuries.
“I see the world, just not as you see it.”
Though there may have been a few logical flaws in M. Night Shyamalan’s 2004 thriller The Village, heroine Ivy Walker was one of the golden characters that held the story together. Even in the face of fear, trauma, and loss, Ivy, a blind character, demonstrated incredible strength. One of the INFJ’s greatest tributes is their empathy for others, and Ivy’s emotional courage is what makes the plot relatable. Though a part of her has empathy for Noah Percy’s developmental disability, she ultimately must choose Lucius’ life over his. Soft spoken and unconditionally loyal to her family, Ivy is the true embodiment of an INFJ.
“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view; until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”
Clearly, literary superhero Atticus Finch is an extremely complex character with a wildly fluctuating reputation (especially after the release of Go Set a Watchman). No matter how you feel about the father of Jem and Scout, it can’t be denied that his foresight and individuality sets him apart from peers in his community. While his Intuition (N) is introverted, his Feeling (Fe) is very extroverted- seen in how he encourages Scout to look at the world from a new perspective. One of the INFJ’s greatest assets is their diplomatic attitude, and Finch embodies this perfectly with his deep thinking and desire to make everybody happy, if possible.
Nitta Sayuri (Chiyo)
“This is why dreams can be such a dangerous thing; they smolder on like a fire does, and sometimes they consume us completely.”
One of the reasons I loved Memoirs of a Geisha so much was because I truly felt like I identified with the main character, Sayuri. In true INFJ fashion, she is quiet, reserved, and peaceful on the outside. On the inside, however, Sayuri is brewing with visions of an idealistic future for herself and the Chairman. Sayuri is a hopeless romantic, often lost in the dream of what could be. She understands the balance between reality and idealism, but still secretly hopes for a future in which her soul can truly flourish. Delicate as a flower, but stronger than fire, Sayuri weaves a beautiful account of the INFJ in Memoirs of a Geisha.
“Just ’cause a girl speaks her mind, doesn’t mean she’s a psycho.”
If you were a teenager in the 1990s, there’s a solid chance you probably remember the short-lived television show Freaks and Geeks. Lindsay, who openly struggles with peer pressure throughout the season, is easily swayed by her friends. She also serves as a mediator for many of the characters, quietly observing the change in her friends as they grow and mature together. Lindsay is perhaps one of the most thoughtful characters on the show, viewing life as a big picture rather than a collection of small details.
“There I was, way off my ambition, getting deeper in love every minute, and all of a sudden I didn’t care.”
As perhaps the most controversial character on the list, Jay Gatsby goes through one of the most dramatic character developments I’ve ever seen in a mere 192 pages. Though extremely idealistic and determined to achieve his goals, his weaknesses ultimately lead to his death. When an INFJ truly, deeply loves someone or something, the chances of tearing him/her away from their goal is slim to none. Gatsby’s love for Daisy and relentless pursuing of her just shows how out of touch with reality he can be, despite being extremely intellectual. Gatsby is quiet, observant, and clearly ambivalent as he switches between a wild party goer and an idealistic lover.
“I’m not going to stop the wheel, I’m going to break the wheel.”
I’m not a big watcher of Game of Thrones, but it didn’t take me very long to pick up a few clues about Daenerys. Though shy on the surface, she is a powerful ruler and a stubborn believer of what she feels is right. She is also extremely sensitive to criticism, and fiercely believes that all of her ideas must be righteous. Because her intuition and understanding of humanity are so strong, Daenerys understands what the other characters need to succeed and persevere. And, like every other character on this list, she is a strong advocate for social justice.
Who are your favorite INFJs in literature? Let me know in the comment section!
Take the test yourself: https://www.16personalities.com/