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Thread: Do Fictional Characters Have to Have a Type?

  1. #1

    Default Do Fictional Characters Have to Have a Type?

    While I was reading your responses to my questions about Seinfeld, Becker, and House's types, I got to thinking... Is it possible to make a fictional character that either doesn't have a type or can easily change type as the author pleases? Do you know of any fictional characters that defy being typed like this?
    By the way, I'm the girl in the picture, lol.... happily married though, so don't even...

  2. #2


    Spock seems to defy typing, not quite INTP, INTJ or ISTJ.

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  3. #3
    Wait, what? Array Varelse's Avatar
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    I'd think that an idealized character would defy typing, through showing the strong points of various types, without the weak points. A stereotype might also be difficult.

    A flawed character might be easier to type, and I'd think that most of such could be assigned a rough type.

    I just realized my Oblivion char is probably ISTJ. Carry on.
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  4. #4
    .~ *aĉa virino* ~. Array Totenkindly's Avatar
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    It depends on the type of story. Comedies in particular often use characters to fulfill roles rather than having personalities. The same goes with some allegories and mythical stories.

    On the other extreme, sometimes a character can be so fully realized or mature that it's well-rounded and capable of different function usage, making it difficult to see what type it started out.
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  5. #5
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    Even real people often aren't easy to squeeze into a type, but people do it any, so the same can be made to work with fictional characters. fictional characters are often based off archetypes and such, but those can be fitted into types if someone really wants to.

  6. #6
    On a mission Array Usehername's Avatar
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    May 2007


    not to mention that tv shows have multiple writers that rotate, and thus would all add their own personal spins on how the characters would behave = blending/overlap of types depending ont he writers.
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  7. #7


    In a strange way, I think good fictional characters are more "typed" than real people are.

    My theory (all-out, blind guess) is that when writers try to create a realistic person, what they end up with, is a symbolic version of a person (perhaps a Jungian archetype?). Also, I believe, it are these very "symbolic people" (the "persona's" of famous individuals and the "symbolized" versions of people known to those who created type theory) who form the basis for type theory.

    I hope you can parse that. If not I can rephrase.

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