Saturday, January 26, 2008

Jodie and Mack and That Personality Thing

We return to the Myers Briggs personality theory, taking a look at the most perfect student in Lawndale High, and the (unintentionally) most perfect male student there, too. As before, I will wing it and guess at the personality types of these two extraordinary teenagers, then offer a lot of dopey armchair psychology as to what it all means. (I have a degree in armchair psychology, so I'm a professional. Don't try this at home.)

Astronomers find it easier to measure the mass of double stars than single stars, because of the easy-to-see gravitational effects that each star in a double has on the other. A star all by itself doesn't react against anything, making the mass-determination process problematic. The same is true about personality guesswork. Daria and Jane are easier to peg when considered as a dyad rather than separately. The same is true for Jodie and Mack.

Whereas Daria and Jane are both introverts, Jodie and Mack both appear to be extroverts, which to me is rather unusual as it is the extrovert/introvert combination you usually see in mating (at least as the MBTI describes it). Jodie especially is way out there, with all her service-oriented extracurricular activities and leadership positions. Mack for his part is the captain of the football team; it certainly isn't unknown for an introvert to be a leader (lots of them are), but Mack never shows any sign of the complicated interior life that most introverts have. What he says and does is what he really is, which is the hallmark of an extrovert. Mack leads a fairly low-pressure life, though he is driven to distraction by his girlfriend. (See his New Year's resolutions regarding Jodie in The Daria Database.)

Jodie, however, does have a significant interior life. See her Lawndale Lowdown editorial in The Daria Diaries, "Living Up to Your Potential." On the surface she is writing about exactly what the title says, but she's also revealing her highly stressful inner world, driven to overachieve by her father and mother. (The pressure from her father especially is often mentioned in the TV series.) The girl who once wanted to be a ballerina likely started off as an introvert, but was forced to be more social by her parents. In my humble opinion, Jodie is a perfectionist INTJ who was forced to become, in part, an ENTJ.

Even as a high-school student, Jodie is formidable. Brilliant and possessing extraordinary leadership abilities, she has connections leading all the way into Washington, D.C., thanks to her summer work in a Congressman's office (IIFY?). Attracted to business, she wants to start her own company ("Partner's Complaint") and easily manipulates older adults into assisting her by force of her personality and charisma, plus some judicious name-dropping. She adapts quickly to changing situations, has an instinctive grasp of politics (power and personal), and can make the hard calls. And, it must be added, she has one of the most cynical attitudes toward The System of anyone in the series, except possibly Daria herself.

And that opens up a very interesting avenue of inquiry, about which more later.

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