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Thread: Death (of the Sandman series) - the quintessential ENFJ?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array Cypocalypse's Avatar
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    Jan 2008

    Default Death (of the Sandman series) - the quintessential ENFJ?

    I just wanna share something after reading Death: The High Cost of Living

    I've already heard of the enduring Sandman hype a few years back. It's arguably one of those titles that's successfully able to bridge the NT and NF gap. But due to financial constraints, I'm not able to fully invest on the series. At the same time, I still spend money on the old comic books I read. At the age of 28, I still read Marvel's X-Men, even though I times, I feel that I'm quite too mature for these type of titles already.

    Investing on Vertigo's Absolute Sandman hardcover series is still pricey in my opinion, even if I only have 4 compiled books to collect.

    There's a spin-off from the Absolute series entitled Absolute Death, compiling every damn story of the second most famous Endless after Dream.


    Sure, everyone will get to have a crush on Death after you get to know the archetype she's supposed to represent, but after reading her (particularly in Death: The High Cost of Living), the manner in which her ENFJ-ness is fleshed out is so damn's like reading a guidebook on how an ENFJ charms you.


    I don't wanna spoil things out. But anyway...

    The other character that Death gets to interact with is a disgruntled INFP (or an INTP). I can empathize with this character, so the INFP-ENFJ dynamics presented is so real to me, not to mention that one of my closest friends is an attractive ENFJ so it's like reading a book where the two of you are in it. I see the INFP guy as my gloomy self, and Death as my friend.


    There are many aspects of ENFJ characterization here that are so accurately represented, I'm now starting to think if Gaiman has a strong NiFe leaning. Though I think he's more NeFi.

    Some notable aspects of Death's persona that were pointed out:
    1. The need to have sympathy even for those people that you hate
    2. The pressure to have a sympathetic jolly face even if times of stress.

    The INFP guy asks, "why do you always get stuff for free? (a perk ENFJs normally get)." It's an insecurity he developed. After all, he's the creepy geek in the story. Death answered, "it's no more difficult to be creepy than to be friendly".

    I thought that statement implies the subtle difficulties ENFJs encounter for wearing social masks.


    Some more spoilers: Death, in this story, is a mortal human, suffering from a heart ailment. She has to enjoy the finer things in life because she's using borrowed time. This story shows the perkiest Death.

    My ENFJ friend IRL also suffers from a heart condition. Never did I ask her how this is taking a toll on her. It's a topic that I don't normally bring up when we talk. 95% of the time, she gives me that happy face.

    Whenever I try to talk about something more gloomy in nature, she always use her Fe to change the tone of the conversation to her preference--a perky, mood. Can be annoying sometimes, but sweet nonetheless.


    Anyway, just read this book. Very very moving.

  2. #2
    .~ *aĉa virino* ~. Array Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
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    LII Ni


    I actually used Death as my avatar here for most of my tenure. I just needed a change after awhile (and you know, you either change or die, and there is a limit to how much I am willing to let myself die).

    Yes, I always thought she was the quintessential ENFJ too. All about Fe, and with the ability to spin through various viewpoints with dizzying speed. She can connect with anyone; it's part of her job. She guides people on with thoughtful compassion. Some, she is hard with; others, gentler; whatever they need to face up to the reality of life ... and death.

    I saw "the other guy" as more ISTJ, honestly -- at least, in how he performed his duties. And his most overriding sense is not his imagination, it's his sense of responsibility and duty. An N, I think, would have sensed the ramifications centuries earlier and changed; it's very much more the ISTJ to keep trying to uphold the responsibilities of their position regardless of their feelings or new information, and eventually feel the only way out is to "pay the price of quitting" so that their integrity can be maintained. He was very much a maintainer, and a keeper of standards, and emotionally very flattened, and depersonalized, and as Destruction suggested, very quick to see the things he wanted to see and unwilling to see the obvious things he did not want to see.

    From what I can tell, Gaiman seems pretty INFP in his overall outlook, based on the writing content and his personal forewords, etc. It's not atypical to see INPs who also possess add'l F/Ni skills. MBTI is not a rule, it's just a way to view the world... just as the Ruby Stone and the Eagle Stone are two ways to view the same Endless.

    The story you mention was definitely cool. And yes, she was "free" to just be mortal for once, not have to fulfill her role. Usually she has to run on Fe in order to carry out her office, now she could Ni all over the place and be as quirky and enticing and impulsive as she wished.

    In any case, Sandman had a profound effect on my life. I was as trapped as Morpheus was, burdened by the expectations of others and of the impossible responsibilities I had placed on myself; and Seasons of Mist was my wakeup call. "This is freedom: The freedom to leave." We are never trapped anywhere. We always can choose to change. The cage is of our own making or by our own agreement. I just had to be willing to change my concept of myself.

    The Game of You was just icing on the cake.
    But Brief Lives, The Kindly Ones, The Wake... all very profound arcs as well.
    I just re-read two of those last week.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  3. #3
    Lungs & Lips Locked Array Unkindloving's Avatar
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    Dec 2009


    I'm not reading this thread yet, but I'm downloading (hopefully with success) the entire series right now. I don't think I can rely on my library for it.
    Tacking on "ENFJ" to it makes me doubly interested.
    If the torrents work, I'll post them and be back to read through.
    Hang on traveling woman - Don't sacrifice your plan
    Cause it will come back to you - Before you lose it on the man

    .:: DWTWD ::.

    2011 TypeC Exercise Challenge - My Weekly Goals: Cardio 4x. Yoga/Pilates 1x. Pushups 70.

    There is this thing keeping everyone's lungs and lips locked - It is called fear and it's seeing a great renaissance

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