Saturday, January 26, 2008

Just the Same, Only Different

Daria and Jodie have an interesting conversation near the end of "Gifted," as they review their day at Grove Hills and share something about how they each deal with the world. "Believe me," Jodie tells Daria, "I'd like to be more like you." "Well, I have to admit, there are times when I'd like to be more like you," Daria responds. "Really?" says Jodie. "I'm not saying all the time," Daria qualifies.

The funny thing here is, Jodie and Daria are alike. Do they realize it on some instinctual level? To the best of my ability to tell, both of them are INTJs: extremely intelligent and cynical introverts who think through their problems, rely on intuition, look to the future rather than the here and now, and prefer closure to problems rather than continually sorting through options. Jodie is greatly pressured to be more outgoing and resents it mightily; Daria has her own deep well of anger at the way she feels she has been marginalized in her life for being intelligent, unwilling to act shallow and brainless to gain popularity.

Is it possible that Jodie is what Daria could have been, if she had been pressured to be more outgoing by her parents? Helen attempted to do this with her speech about "the mask" in IIFY?, but neither of Daria's parents are focused enough on childrearing to make more of an effort than that. As a result, Daria cruises lazily along under her parents' benign neglect.

Is it possible that Daria is what Jodie could have been, if her parents had not micromanaged her life? Interesting AU possibilities arise here, if Andrew Landon had been more preoccupied with his infant son (per his comments about Ethan to Jake in "Gifted") and less with his eldest daughter. The stage would have been set for sibling rivalry on a massive scale, with Jodie and the middle child Rachel resenting Ethan for being favored, Rachel resenting Jodie's good grades, etc. Sounds a lot of Daria and Quinn in a way. Left to her own devices, who would a more relaxed, benignly neglected Jodie have found for a best friend? Well, if Jodie and Daria are so much alike inside, who was Daria's best friend?

Right. Jane.

More soon.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think Jodi is More of an ISTJ rather than INTJ. Although she is smart, she is a bit more practical than Daria and driven to achieve tangible things. Although she understands Daria's theory-based perspective, she naturally focuses on the here-and-now and realistic outcomes.