MBTI: Monsieur Gustave H.- ENFJ
“Take your hands off my lobby boy!”
Though every world of Wes Anderson’s is eternally rooted in an eclectic, upbeat atmosphere with the style and tone every hipster would want to dive into, there are always darker undertones than the initial feel would suggest.
So it’s the perfect role for an ENFJ character such as Gustave who goes to hell and back with only brief snippets of the madness before he goes back to his gentlemanly ways.
The type to go above all other types in terms of sheer courtesy, nobody can match the ENFJ. Sure, ENTJs know how to work people, and ESTPs are good with people while ENFPs love people…but ENFJs are all of these things.
It’s pretty common these days (I don’t know about the days before my days) for us to talk about how much we hate people or badly people get on our nerves. Many Extroverts type as Introverts due to misinterpreting many questions as being “Do you like people or are you okay by yourself?” and hate the idea of seeming like they need anybody.
Where is all this going? ENFJs don’t have that inner struggle. They don’t pretend to dislike the human race in spite of all of its flaws. Sure, they have their moments, but they’re moments, not phases or lifestyles. This is Gustave. From the time we first see him until his last shot, he’s fighting for humanity. Not humanity on a global scale mind you, but either for the best customer service he can provide or at the very least, for his lobby boy Zero.
We see in Gustave’s normal routine that he doesn’t just care about looking good or a stunning reputation, but when older Zero gives his observations of Gustave when he ran the Grand Budapest toward the beginning of the film, we see Gustave giving a poetic sermon to his employees at a podium while they all wait patiently to stuff their faces.
“Rudeness is merely the expression of fear. People fear they won’t get what they want. The most dreadful and unattractive person just needs to be loved. And they will open up like a flower. I’m reminded of a verse….”
The dominant function of ENFJs is Fe (Extroverted Feeling) which of course, relates to those around you. Fi (Introverted Feeling) is the user knowing how they feel while Fe knows what others feel. This can make it difficult for ENFJs to form their own opinion at times with their Introverted Thinking function last. Gustave puts everyone before himself and its clear that he’s not just putting on a show. Zero describes again and again what a gentleman he is and that there aren’t many men like him in the present day of 1968.
Notice that even while Gustave sleeps around with the old heiresses of the hotel, he seems to think of it as performing a kind of “extra service” to his guests rather than whoring himself out or looking for any sort of financial gain. In fact, when his “extra services” actually do put him in a position for financial gain when Madame D. passes and leaves Gustave the coveted painting, “Boy with Apple,” there’s no hint that he was out for it. He was just a really good guy.
And that’s what makes his predicament so much worse. And hilarious.
This is where Gustave’s, as well as the ENFJ’s, Ni (Introverted Intuition) comes into play. Not in the way it would for say, an ENTJ, whose Ni is also auxiliary with dominant Te; with them it’s all about a plan for whatever business model they’re devising. With ENFJs, put simply, it’s all about the best way to take care of as many people as they can. It’s why so many go into careers such as teaching, preaching, counseling, etc.
Initially, ENFP was my choice for Gustave. But Gustave’s attitude is nearly entirely dependent on the others around him. While he occasionally delves into elegant tangents, his feelings are on his sleeves; as opposed to the equally energetic ENFP whose ideas and principles are on theirs.
When Madame D.’s son Dmitri is pissed that Gustave is entitled to the painting, he tells Gustave “You’re not getting Boy with Apple, ya G**D*** little fruit.” Gustave is clearly taken aback and hurt by this comment even.
“Now how is that supposed to make me feel?”
Ah, the ENFJ. If you don’t like them, there might be something wrong with you. Do you hate people or something?