MBTI: Evil Dead’s Ash, and Type Changing- Part I
A couple months ago, we went through a two-part post about Tyler Durden and his type. Every types vary in their preferences of course, it’s what makes it a different personality altogether. Yet there are many that, alongside each other, can come off as strikingly similar. Nothing fits this better than ENTP and ESTP, which are talkative, friendly, and competitive. The differences are clearly there, yet there’s enough to confuse a person just looking at a glance.
Since Halloween is coming up, and I love Evil Dead, here’s an examination of Horror’s Head Heroic Honcho and his personalities throughout the film.
While many characters get typed as one personality, only to be accused of “changing personalities,” it’s often an allegation that has little to it. In real life, people seem to think you can do this- you can’t. It doesn’t mean you can’t be a better you, it means that you don’t turn into a different person because you have a new outlook on life.
“I used to be ENFP when I loved people but I’m a total introvert now. I’m INTJ now and I hate people.”
It doesn’t work that way. You mature (or you should) over time and become a healthier version of yourself. You’re not cutting people off in conversation nearly as much, or focusing only on your own needs but people around you too. This doesn’t mean you choose Feeling over Thinking now, but that you’re turning into the most complete person you can.
The point of typing is that it’s a starting point, or a foundation to build upon not something to box you in. If the guy in charge of construction is frequently changing the location of where the base of the building is, you’re never going to get anything done. What’s worse is that building a foundation on a place it’s not supposed to be is going to be one crappy building.
Case in point- “I really like what I read about INFJ. So that’s what I am.” This is a terrible starting point and results in you working from a place of misunderstanding, resulting in you knowing nothing about MBTI if you start from a false point. People tend to do this with characters and then to themselves, hoping to pick out what they consider to be “the best type” and hoping to embody those qualities.
When typing characters and themselves, they twist everything they read about every subject at hand to make it fit what they want. This defeats the purpose of type theory. The point is that you fit the description, and now what are you going to do with this information? It’s not meant for you to validate yourself as often as you can by pretending you and Wolverine have a lot in common.
Often times people think that a character going through change also means that they’ve changed their type and that since it’s a work of fiction, that’s all there is to it; they’re not real so they’re changing their type all the time. But with any good story, a character should change throughout the story similar to people changing throughout their life- we’re just seeing a lot more of this character in a very short time period. If we had to view them change in real-time, every movie would be as long as your life.
How does the character change? What motivated them to do so? What were they doing in the first place as opposed to how they are by the end of the story? The change should be a natural progression rather than a forceful change that doesn’t fit with the character that’s been built throughout the first two-thirds of the movie.
Jamie Foxx’s timid cab-driver Max in 2004’s Collateral is an ISFJ. He’s living a life he’s not happy with, always planning for a better life yet never acting on it. But through the course of the film, Max is placed in situation after situation that demands him to adapt to his predicament or die. So by the end of the film, after he’s gone through his changes and become a better person simply by doing what needed to be done, he’s still an ISFJ.
The problems he needed to overcome may not have been as much of a problem for a more confident type or maybe even a generally less moral type. By the end, is he ESTP or ISFP for his adaption? Nope, he’s just bettered himself through confrontation, something he refused to work on at the start of the film.
In fact, Breaking Bad’s Walter White is built on the idea of change, even down to his name. Creator Vince Gilligan’s comments about Walt involved having Heisenberg being a part of him all along, but cancer and the idea of a very-near death brought it out in him. He doesn’t change from ISTJ to INTJ, he’s just INTJ.
All this being said, sloppy writing will have character’s changing type like the wind twisting to make a tornado. As much as I love the Evil Dead series, it’s trilogy is an example of type changing throughout that doesn’t effect the quality of the series (hehe) as much as it is noteworthy that Ash doesn’t go through a natural evolution so much as he does just become different characters.
You can see it all…in Part II.