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Thread: Sylvia Plath

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    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    Default Sylvia Plath

    I realize she isn't a popular culture figure in line with this subforum's title, but her type would be interesting to explore. I realize she had some potential emotional disorders, but even with that i found her to resonate with me as an INFJ. When i watched the biography of her life she resonated in many many ways, but seemed like a more extreme example. This was a mostly intuitive impression. I would have to go back and analyze it step by step to make a definitive case. I guess i remember the types of scenarios that caused her to shut down, the way in which she was driven, the types of fears she had, etc. It may be disturbing to say, but i find myself very much like her, only not to the anxious, pathological extremes. INFJs are called the most poetic types. We may find a few of us hidden amongst the poets?

    What say ye?
    Step into my metaphysical room of mirrors.
    Fear of reality creates myopic morality
    So I guess it means there is trouble until the robins come
    (from Blue Velvet)

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    Senior Member Littlelostnf's Avatar
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    INFP
    for my life is slowed up by thought and the need to understand what I am living.

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    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Littlelostnf View Post
    INFP
    That is definitely plausible. It crossed my mind as well. Hopefully we can dig into a meaningful analysis. Plath is especially interesting in this regard. I'm trying to find some info online to see if anyone has put effort into typing her. I'll continue to look.

    Back with a little more research. Her bipolar disorder definitely throws a monkey wrench in a strictly MBTI analysis. The intensity of her emotional expression is a good case for Fi dominant. She has some emphasis on the use of symbols which is a bit more Ni, but by no means exclusive. It could be a mistake to attempt anything too definitive with an individual who suffered mental illness, but INF seems like a pretty strong case to me. I could also accept INFP as being as close to a conclusion as possible with the info at hand. I left the type out of the title to keep the discussion open. She is a very misunderstood individual and that's one reason i hope for a well considered analysis based on her essence and not the stereotypes.
    Step into my metaphysical room of mirrors.
    Fear of reality creates myopic morality
    So I guess it means there is trouble until the robins come
    (from Blue Velvet)

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    Plumage and Moult proteanmix's Avatar
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    I keep getting Sylvia Plath, Edna St. Vincent Millay and Virginia Wolf confused. Freaking Early 20th Century Women's Literature classes.

    I say IxF.

    What does ISFP and ISFJ poetry look like?
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    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix View Post
    What does ISFP and ISFJ poetry look like?
    I don't know what *serious* ISFx poetry looks like, unfortunately.

    The average ISFJ's I've seen tend to make up either very goofy endearing poetry/songs for their children, or they get overly sentimental or religious and write typical four-line alternating-rhyming stanzas with very very predictable rhymes.

    (You see, for an ISFJ, writing serious poetry is *usually* a waste of time that could be spent doing practical things to express their love and emotions.)

    An ISFP tends to meander around. A friend in high school used to write very bad, very silly unstructured "rock music lyrics." Usually derivative... They tend to not have a lot of structure, and so they do not often discipline themselves to really produce something that interlocks well, they just dabble around and undermine their own potential...

    But if an ISFP was brought up in an environment where they were rewarded and challenged to produce good work, and encouraged to go deeply into and follow the sound and feel of the words wherever they might lead? I have not seen an example of it, but I could imagine it would be quite good.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

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    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix View Post
    What does ISFP and ISFJ poetry look like?
    That's a very good question before assuming INF. It's also important to compare a gifted ISF with an equally gifted INF and not ordinary ISFs with renown INFs, if that makes any sense.

    Paul McCartney is listed as an ISFP on typelogic.com
    (There are also some joke listings like Donald Trump as an ISFP)
    The ISFP is considered the kindest of all the personality types.

    Louisa May Alcott (author of Little Women) is an ISFJ on the same site, although she is a novelist not a poet, but still seems relevant.
    Step into my metaphysical room of mirrors.
    Fear of reality creates myopic morality
    So I guess it means there is trouble until the robins come
    (from Blue Velvet)

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    Dhampyr Economica's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toonia View Post
    I realize she isn't a popular culture figure in line with this subforum's title
    Maybe we should rename this forum. If I didn't know it, I wouldn't guess that Popular Culture and Type was about attempting to type famous people, which could be why I seem to recall some typings threads start in The Commune after this subforum opened.

    I can't think of an apt name though...

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    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    I haven't read through this yet, but it is a handwriting analysis of Sylvia Plath. It could shed some light.



    The following is cut and pasted from the same site:

    The handwriting analysis confirms the qualities and limits of this personality which had to bear the tensions pointed out in her biography. From an intellective viewpoint, her intelligence appears inclined to precision and to an original use of language, due to the combination of the signs Clear, Accurate, Narrowness between letters, Methodically Uneven, Twisted, Disconnected. Inclination to precision in defining the external and inner world (Clear, Accurate) becomes a need for precision because of her original creativity (Methodically Uneven), based on an abrupt control (Twisted, Disconnected) and on the demand of a careful and strict choice of terms (Narrowness between the Letters). Narrowness between the Letters (lack of generosity), at a linguistic level, reinforces her demand of a technical precision in the use of language. The same combination, for instance, is required by experimental sciences because it indicates the dominance of the Jungian function of Sensation: the subject is careful about all the smallest manifestations of the external perceptual world (this function is the opposite of Intuition, which, on the contrary ranges above perceptual data).
    Sylvia Plath, therefore, is endowed with an exceptional intellective disposition to originality and precision in the use of language, consequently an attitude to poetry (in its components of metrics, consonance-dissonance in terms, full mastering and differentiation in lexicon, etc.).
    Problems arises from the feeling, in the rigidity of her personality which exaggerates in imposing itself and in the unilaterality of views. Her handwriting is straight (Upright), suggesting a full focusing of her personality on itself, but all the qualities which make her precise and original in language, do not work at a human level, first of all about herself and then about relationships with others.
    Her marked self-control, demand for precision, originality, narrowness of judgement, care for exteriority, inner inquietude because of an excessive self-control, permalosity, represent, both singularly and in the whole ticking time bombs in her personality, which can explode at the slightest stimulus.
    She is a proud individual, which takes herself too seriously (Accurate, Narrow between the Letters make her touchy because of her restricted views).
    Her sentiment is exigent, as very original but hardly showing. Moreover, it tends to analyze everything, both what she gives and receives (Disconnected) with a strong strictness, increased also by the presence of the sign Twisted (control).
    The sign Spacing between words above average does not allow her to reason a little more about her situation to come to a kind of self-control due to ponderation. She always explodes much sooner.
    Her handwriting confirms her great writing talent, but her difficulty in indulging a little more herself as well.
    Step into my metaphysical room of mirrors.
    Fear of reality creates myopic morality
    So I guess it means there is trouble until the robins come
    (from Blue Velvet)

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    Plumage and Moult proteanmix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    I don't know what *serious* ISFx poetry looks like, unfortunately.

    The average ISFJ's I've seen tend to make up either very goofy endearing poetry/songs for their children, or they get overly sentimental or religious and write typical four-line alternating-rhyming stanzas with very very predictable rhymes.

    (You see, for an ISFJ, writing serious poetry is *usually* a waste of time that could be spent doing practical things to express their love and emotions.)

    An ISFP tends to meander around. A friend in high school used to write very bad, very silly unstructured "rock music lyrics." Usually derivative... They tend to not have a lot of structure, and so they do not often discipline themselves to really produce something that interlocks well, they just dabble around and undermine their own potential...

    But if an ISFP was brought up in an environment where they were rewarded and challenged to produce good work, and encouraged to go deeply into and follow the sound and feel of the words wherever they might lead? I have not seen an example of it, but I could imagine it would be quite good.
    Wow, do you think you can say this with any certainty? I only know one ISFJ well enough to conjecture, but I know she writes lots praise lyrics (or poetry that she turns into music) and it's not:

    Roses are red
    Violets are blue
    I'm an ISFJ
    And I think writing poetry is a silly waste of time.

    And ISFPs...I'd think they'd give INFPs a serious run for their money as far is poetry is concerned.
    Relationships have normal ebbs and flows. They do not automatically get better and better when the participants learn more and more about each other. Instead, the participants have to work through the tensions of the relationship (the dialectic) while they learn and group themselves and a parties in a relationships. At times the relationships is very open and sharing. Other time, one or both parties to the relationship need their space, or have other concerns, and the relationship is less open. The theory posits that these cycles occur throughout the life of the relationship as the persons try to balance their needs for privacy and open relationship.
    Interpersonal Communication Theories and Concepts
    Social Penetration Theory 1
    Social Penetration Theory 2
    Social Penetration Theory 3

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    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    Well how about that! She is described as a Sensor in Jungian terms right there. The references to rigidity suggest ISFJ over ISFP. Is ISTJ possible? Not sure there. Of course that is only one source of info and not the definitive conclusion on the matter. Awesomely surprising and interesting though.
    Step into my metaphysical room of mirrors.
    Fear of reality creates myopic morality
    So I guess it means there is trouble until the robins come
    (from Blue Velvet)

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