Happy New Year to everyone! I hope you all had a good holiday and are ready to get back to our discussion about the MBTI and the personality traits of Martin and Louisa Ellingham. I’ve had a few moments to think about my view of where these two characters would land on the MBTI spectrum. When I took the MBTI as if I were Martin Ellingham, I came up with ISTJ, or The Examiner. All of the traits had percentages of 90-100%. (Here’s a description of the ISTJ from one website.) When I took the inventory as if I were Louisa, the results were ENFJ, or The Mentor, but the Extroversion trait was the strongest while the others were in the 60-65% level. (The same website gives this description for the ENFJ.) While answering the questions as each character I noticed where they would overlap in their approach. To me, Louisa is often just as grounded as Martin and relates to the world on a practical and realistic level to a great extent.
It was a fun exercise and I look forward to reading more comments from you about this and to reading what Abby will write when she gets a chance.
I have also read another article about introverts that I would like to refer you to. This article was helpful to me in several ways. I was impressed by the mention of phone conversations being difficult for introverts because I have previously noted that ME often neglects to use the phone when it would be most convenient and expected. In addition, the article notes how much introverts prefer being on stage to being in a mass audience and making small talk. That led me to think that the move for ME from London to Portwenn actually might have been better for him than he realizes. It took him away from the surgery he loved and felt especially accomplished at, but it also removed him from a large city where he was surrounded by commotion and many people all the time. Essentially he is on stage in Portwenn because of his position as GP and its importance to a small town. He continues to dislike small talk, and we see this at the party for Joe Penhale in S3 when he takes Louisa aside rather than mingle with the other partygoers; nevertheless, in Portwenn he has more time to himself despite the fact that being a GP requires him to interact with patients more than being a surgeon had.
I think we can all agree that the most significant difference between these two characters is that Martin is quite prominently an introvert and Louisa is just as much an extrovert. I think they can both be seen as having had some influence on each other relative to these major differences between them. As series 6 advanced, Louisa was able to encourage Martin to interact with the community more in small ways, e.g. attending the school performance, taking JH to the music circle. At the same time, she also appears to have accepted his desire to stay home and there are no more occasions where she goes out with friends while he takes care of JH. Once again I can’t make the argument that there is any effort by the writers to deliberately reference these two characters’ markedly different ways of dealing with the outside world. However, the introversion/extroversion distinction is so pronounced in these characters, that we have to imagine it was planned.
It’s nice to get back to the blog. Please join the conversation!
Originally posted 2015-01-04 14:19:01.