Emma: Mr. Knightley [ISTJ]

Functional Order: Si-Te-Fi-Ne

Perceiving Functional Axis:

Introverted Sensing (Si) / Extroverted Intuition (Ne)

Mr. Knightley often scoffs at Emma’s matchmaking and solutions to problems, because they are “unlikely to work in the real world.” Unlike Emma, he understands how the world works—where Harriet ranks in the social hierarchy, the lack of evidence for her being a “gentleman’s daughter,” and how she would have been quite happy and content and well-provided for, married to a nice farmer. He often argues with her about her meddling nature and tendency to see potential where, in his mind, none exists. He is a simple, straightforward man, however, who must admit that Emma has indeed “improved Harriet,” and “chose better for Mr. Elton than he chose for himself.” He is thoughtful in sensory ways, sending his coach for Jane and Miss Bates, and prefers the solitude of home, the reading of a good book, or long country walks to doing other things. His Ne is perceptive enough to eventually figure out that Emma intends to wed Harriet to Mr. Elton, but his arguments against it are all based in previous experiences with the cleric (“He often speaks of a large unmarried family of girls from Bath”).

Judging Functional Axis:

Extroverted Thinking (Te) / Introverted Feeling (Fi)

Preoccupation with problem-solving and efficient fixes rules Mr. Knightley’s actions, from his decision to marry Emma and move to Hartfield to keep her father content (by the time Emma has come up with this as a reason why they cannot be together, he has already thought about, considered, and decided upon it as a viable solution) to his frustration that the piano for Jane was a “thoughtless extravagance” since… what will become of it once Jane has gone? She cannot take it with her, and is it meant to clutter up the Bates’ living room for the rest of their lives? When Emma dares to dream about a better future for Harriet, Mr. Knightley tries to burst her imaginative bubble by pointing out the facts—that they know none of her speculations for ‘certain’ and Harriet would be better off married to a trustworthy farmer. He chastises her for being too immature, for not reading enough books, and being ‘silly’ (“Men of sense do not want silly wives!”), but is prudent in his feelings and quite moralistic. He hates Emma’s interfering with others and refuses to idly dance at the ball, but steps forward when Mr. Elton shuns Harriet out of sympathy for her emotional distress. He finds Frank’s constant in-attendance upon his father, and his other misbehaviors, to be rude. When Mrs. Elton attempts to ‘take over’ his strawberry picking party, he informs her that only the future Mrs. Knightley make take it upon herself to invite others to his house, and until she comes into being, he will do it for himself. It takes him a long time to work up the courage to propose, when he is sure of his feelings.

Enneagram: 1w2 sexual

Emma says that other than talking long solitary walks, Mr. Knightley’s favorite pastime is her “daily scolding,” and indeed, it is true. He berates, harasses, contradicts, and scolds her meddlesome and interfering nature, all the while being somewhat “meddlesome” in his own attempts to correct her perceived misbehavior. He disapproves of how shallow she can be, finds fault with her inability to finish reading important books, and becomes so frustrated at times, he storms out of the room after an argument. But he is also deeply principled, doing the right thing all the time even when it is not expected of others, such as dancing with Harriet, shaming Emma for her horrible treatment of poor Miss Bates, encouraging her to befriend Jane so that she must not rely on Mrs. Elton as ‘her only friend,’ and disapproving mightily of Frank’s selfish, careless behavior. His 2 wing is genuinely compassionate and useful in the little things, but also willing to ‘give’ in order to earn approval and love (such as promising to move to Emma’s father’s home after the funeral to keep him happy). And, he is willing to forgive Emma her faults and even find them amusing at times.

Reviews: Emma (1996), Emma (1997), Emma (2009), Emma (2020)