MBTI: Rooster Cogburn- ISTJ
Be it Jeff Bridges or John Wayne, Rooster is still the hard-nosed, scroungy mangy Marshal which is a near ideal ISTJ. Not because they’re all scroungy, but because they don’t care about what you think, they just are what they are.
Cogburn’s way of going about things is the same; he doesn’t have a particular flair or an unfaltering image, he’s just some drunk dude with a gut and as it turns out, most of the positive things going around about him aren’t even true. If you’ve ever known any law enforcement of an older generation, you know this guy is ISTJ but read it anyway.
“I always go BACKWARDS when I’m backin’ up.”
When Mattie sees Cogburn in court about a self-proclaimed act of self-defense, the more Cogburn’s story goes on, the more it seems his actions weren’t entirely justified. While some of his story about defending himself from a group of thieves may be true, it turns out there’s a pretty good bit of it he made up to make himself look a little more innocent. Is he a villain? Nope. He’s a liar and an alcoholic, but as far as he’s concerned, he was doing what he did in the service of the law.
And since he’s on the side of the law and the other guys weren’t, that makes him right regardless of the circumstances.
The ISTJ generally follows along this mindset. Not that they’re all immoral or as morally pliable, but their SiTe combination can make up for a person that, if decided they’re right, can’t be wrong no matter what you tell them. That cop that pulled you over for running a yellow light at one in the morning when no other cars were around? ISTJ. It was close enough to being red and you don’t run the red light, son. Regardless of your explanation, you’re likely to hear “Doesn’t matter.” So don’t explain yourself because he’s made up his mind. It was just unfortunate for Rooster that he had to explain himself to some know-it-all lawyer.
But ISTJs are nothing if not loyal. When (Texas Ranger) LeBeouf is practically bullying 14 year-old Mattie Ross to get what he wants, Cogburn draws his pistol and warns LeBeouf to back off. Cogburn had already accepted the job to catch Mattie’s murderer and by God, he’s going to carry it out. While it seemed like a joke to take a job from a kid at first, once he’d decided to do it, there was no stopping him.
Cogburn’s lifestyle also reflects that of an ISTJ by his harsh outlook on life while having little concern for those around him. There’s a way he views things and that’s that. Tertiary Fi will do that to a man. While it should develop as the user gets older, if they never make an attempt to better themselves they’ll become more bitter in their later years. The same could be said for anybody but ISTJs reflect this in a way that comes off as nagging to others and pick out trivial details of others while paying little attention to their own behavior.
Rooster also displays the ISTJ Te by talking as if it doesn’t matter who’s listening and who’s even there. He drones on and on about the war, about his ex-wives, giving out little he couldn’t possibly think anybody cares about, but he gives them anyway. From personal experience, the sheriffs I’m familiar with will do the same. I have literally walked away from them in mid-sentence only to hear them continue talking until I was out of earshot.
Te has the user telling them that they need to tell you something rather than talking with you. Ti may leaves things open for questions, but Te says what they want you to know that’s it. It’s why cops come off the way they do and why Rooster’s interactions with others mostly consist of him telling them what he thinks and not much else.
But in the end ISTJs are doing what they can for their own and their loved ones security. While Rooster doesn’t know anybody or have any real family, he does care about what happens to Mattie past getting his payment. After she’s bitten by a rattlesnake, Rooster attempts to get some of the poison out before riding with her on her horse until it collapses and dies. Then he carries her on foot. So for however difficult the ISTJ may be at times, can’t nobody say they’re not loyal.