Functional Order: Fi-Ne-Si-Te
Judging Functional Axis:
Introverted Feeling (Fi) / Extroverted Thinking (Te)
Atticus chose a professional that adheres to his principles, and has no interest in participating in the town activities, nor in being seen as “normal” by anyone. He rejects all attempts to sway him to alter his opinion. He adamantly refuses to pass judgment on most people, even if their stance disagrees with his own. When Scout does things that displease him, he has a quiet, wise word with her, about “not judging others until you walk a mile in their shoes.” He urges her to think about what it must be like to be them. He takes the Will Robinson case, despite knowing it’s hopeless (“Courage is when you know you’re licked before you begin…”) because to do otherwise would violate his moral principles. He also marches down to the jail and stands guard outside the cell to prevent a lynching, because to do otherwise would be beneath him. Though a competent lawyer, Atticus is also somewhat foolish at times. He assumes there is no further threat from the man he humiliated and disgraced in court, because “the case is over” (which almost gets his children killed). Under stress, he falls into Te, and focuses on the facts behind Jem’s attack, becoming preoccupied with what happened, how it happened, and whether the case can stand up in court, or if Jem will be convicted of manslaughter.
Perceiving Functional Axis:
Extroverted Intuition (Ne) / Introverted Sensing (Si)
A somewhat jaded idealist, Atticus often offers his children tidbits of abstract advice, such as the definition of courage, that it is a great sin to kill a mockingbird (it’s a metaphor for the entire book / his case, and how he views Tom Robinson), that you must walk in other people’s shoes to truly understand them. He focuses on developing strong character in his children, sometimes by forcing them to do things that they do not want to do. He urges Jem to go read to a sick woman, as part of his punishment for destroying her flowers, because Atticus sees the big picture – both that his son’s temper needs curbed, and that him reading to her can help distract her from the pain of her deathbed. His idealism at times is his undoing, because he underestimates his enemies, even though they give him plenty of reasons to feel concerned for his children’s’ safety (the man followed and harassed Tom Robinson’s wife!). Atticus feeds his Si with lots of books. He lives a semi-ordinary wife, but is detached from the outer world, and sometimes lost in his own little world.
Atticus puts moral principles ahead of everything else. Scout and Jem both admire him for his tremendous personal character. Even though it endangers his life, Atticus faces down an angry mob determined to lynch an innocent man, he tears apart a witness on the stand (though he does not like to do it, it’s the right thing to do in his mind), and he is even willing to put his son through a trial after a man’s death, because it’s hard for him to accept the sheriff lying about how he died. His courage and moral fortitude inspire an entire congregation to give him a standing ovation as he leaves the courthouse (“Stand up, Scout, your father’s passin’!”). Atticus can sometimes come across as “hard” to his children, because he makes them take responsibility for their actions. He is intolerant of Scout beating up other kids. He makes Jem obey an old woman whose flowers he destroyed in a blind rage. His 9 wing refuses to let other people’s comments get to him, even if they make his children livid. He tells Jem and Scout to ignore the nasty comments said about him in town, just like he does. In a very 9ish way, he often stays home and conserves his effort at the end of the day, preferring a quiet life among his bookshelves.