Functional Order: Fe-Ni-Se-Ti
Judging Functional Axis:
Extroverted Feeling (Fe) / Introverted Thinking (Ti)
Harriet thinks in terms of group dynamics; it is never just about her own freedom but that of her loved ones, and she comes back for them when she believes them in danger. Confronted by five people desperate to escape, even though it places her in danger, she decides this was God’s true purpose in sending her home — not just to rescue her husband, but to save as many as she can. She is easily able to express herself in the moment – she’s furious when she finds out her husband “replaced” her so soon after her presumed death. Harriet confides in Marie her feelings about her ruined marriage. She develops a mentality of “we” when dealing with the Underground Railroad; she says unless the abolitionists continue to take direct, assertive action in rescuing people, “we have let them down.” To convince them of the instant need to do this, Harriet tells them what it is like to be a slave, and that she has not forgotten it; she thinks about it, every day. She risks her life multiple times to rescue people she has no personal connection with, other than her shared skin color and desire for freedom. She shows inferior Ti in her tendency to react more on emotion and instinct than on logic — despite being in peril, and the city being in chaos after the passing of a law that allows slavers to come across state lines to reclaim their escaped slaves, Harriet runs back to the boardinghouse to say goodbye to Marie. This nearly results in her capture. She suspects, correctly, that if she and her husband are caught escaping, they may remove his freedom as a result – so she makes the difficult choice to leave him behind.
Perceiving Functional Axis:
Introverted Intuition (Ni) / Extroverted Sensing (Se)
Even though others tell her she cannot mount dangerous rescue missions, Harriet just ‘knows’ she can accomplish it – she knows it in her bones. Her Ni is extremely well-developed, but she calls it talking to God. She has flashes and insights into what is going to happen before it does, but finds it hard to talk about the process – it becomes very abstract and vague, when she tells Marie about it. She surrenders to these visions and allows them to guide her. Harriet is good at re-framing situations to see them from a new perspective (“I thought God sent me here to rescue my husband; I now see He sent me here for all of you”). She adopts the Biblical symbolic identity of “Moses,” liberator of slaves, given to her by others because she manages to get so many people out at a time. She shows strong tert-Se tendencies. Harriet is a woman of action and adaptation. Not only does she make it a hundred miles by herself alone, unheard of for a slave, she makes repeated trips into the south to rescue friends, family, and strangers. After they pass the Act that allows slave hunters to pursue them through all the Union states, forcing her to flee into Canada, Harriet is impatient with those gathered to discuss what to do at Seward’s house. She reminds them that talk is meaningless, and they ought to continue “rescuing slaves.” She adapts whenever she has to – crossing rivers, climbing in and out of wagons, even leaping to almost certain death into a raging river.
Harriet has a strong need to help as many people as she can, once she becomes aware of the process involved in rescuing them. Though initially she focuses only on her family and friends, when faced with desperate people, she cannot say no to them — and astounds her abolitionist friends at her tremendous success rate. Under stress, she takes on the traits of an 8 — she believes in freedom or death, for herself and others, and is willing to threaten those who try to escape from her group at gunpoint, or defend them with the same (she cannot allow anyone to lose heart and turn back, in case they lead them to her group). Harriet’s strong 1 wing influences all her choices, from her decision not to shoot her former master in the face (even though he participated in killing one of her friends, and sold her family members for profit) to her anger at her husband’s infidelity (in her eyes, abandoning their marriage and forgetting her too soon, when he thinks she is dead).
Review: Harriet (2019).