februeruri: (Default)
[personal profile] februeruri
My friends and I are all hobby MBTI enthusiasts, and I recently talked one of them into reading TC. I told him that I'm fairly certain Laurie is an INFP, while he (on the strength of chapter 2 alone, mind)  maintains that Laurie is an INTJ. These are our *own* respective types. 

Here and there, I've also encountered fandom discussions of TC where I wonder if I've read the same book as the poster, our takeaways were so different. And of course there are the stories of people coming out in letters they wrote to Mary Renault.

All this to say, more than other novels I think The Charioteer demands that you draw on your own emotional experiences to engage with the narrative, so that it becomes slightly different for everyone. Renault's writing often does a thing where she goes, "He contemplated x, which, cue omniscient meditation, was really attributable to a universal y." But of course everyone will relate to that "y" differently. Not to mention the stances TC characters take on sexuality, gender, religion, etc.

*Anyway*, I still say Laurie is an INFP, because he enthusiastically idolizes people he hardly knows, refuses to plan for anything (then either becomes paralyzed with indecision or improvises on the spot), and delivers rose-coloured lines like, "I believe enough in him to feel like I'd like to help him be what he wants to be." Though perhaps that's me projecting! 

??

Date: 2015-09-24 04:43 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] penina_45
I'm so sorry, but I don't know what MBTI, INFP and the rest mean. It might be that these terms are in wide use today, but I'm rather ancient, done with college in 1964. You are quite right about Laurie's personality. Ralph at 19 is to him at 15 like Laurie at 23 was to Andrew when they met. He wanted to let him develop his sexual consciousness without interfering. He might have decided to do so, being so head over heels about him, but very slowly, if Ralph had not high-highhandedly taken over his life and separated them. Mary's writing is so introspective that I felt like I was Laurie, quite easily idolizing Ralph at school and being paralyzed with indecision. Few authors can do that to me. I'm struggling with Promise of Love, her first published novel. The characters are completely 3D, but aside from the hospital culture which she explains well, the relationships are more in the POV's head than in the reality of what is actually happening. People thought they were so modern, analyzing everything. Still, Mary's style draws me forward. I read TC ages ago, not understanding anything physical being possible between men. I thought the unusual (to me) feelings were all of it. Even when someone in high school carefully explained it to me, I accused her of making it up. Please keep sharing your thoughts and explain the initials.

Re: ??

Date: 2015-09-24 06:04 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] penina_45
Thank you. That was fun. I have the kind of personality I hoped for, at least one on the outside, finally. It takes effort, but that's what life is about. I still can't draw, although I've tried. You can. Please keep doing it.

Date: 2015-09-24 08:58 am (UTC)
naraht: (Default)
From: [personal profile] naraht
I'm an INTJ myself but I'm fairly certain you're right about Laurie!

Emphatically agreed on the extent to which everyone brings their own interpretation to TC.

Date: 2015-09-24 06:40 pm (UTC)
naraht: (Default)
From: [personal profile] naraht
Not sure about Ralph.

Andrew... ISFJ? Maybe?

Date: 2015-09-25 02:26 am (UTC)
greerwatson: (Default)
From: [personal profile] greerwatson
You think Ralph is intuitive? I think if he were, he'd be less inclined to make decisions for others and more aware of how it's going to rub them the wrong way.

Date: 2015-09-24 05:10 pm (UTC)
toujours_nigel: BFT (Default)
From: [personal profile] toujours_nigel
Certainly INFP. Laurie messes up mostly when he tries too hard to think instead of just going with his instincts.

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